A workshop on the need for local content policy for the construction sector will be held on Tuesday July 11, in Accra to discuss how the nation can grow its construction manpower without reliance on foreign companies.
The workshop will provide the platform to discuss the government’s local content policy in the light of helping government develop a comprehensive policy for the construction industry. It will also examine how local content in the construction industry has been achieved elsewhere; and to help government identify and develop programmes, projects and strategies to actualise the local content policy.
Construction sector ministries, construction sector associations, GREDA, Ghana Institution of Surveyors, Architects Registration Council, and the Public Procurement Authority are expected to participate in the day’s seminar.
Mr Rockson Dogbegah, Construction Sector Chair of the Association of Ghana Industries (AGI), in an interview ahead of the programme, said the construction industry urgently required the formulation and passage of a local content policy to ensure a vibrant and strong local construction industry necessary for the sustainable development of the country.
He said the capacity of Ghanaian construction firms needed to be beefed up as the country cannot continue to rely primarily on the expertise and resources of foreign companies for construction projects.
“The Mission of the AGI Construction Sector is to influence the development and growth of the construction industry, through effective stakeholder engagements and policy reform initiatives that will enhance the capacity and competitiveness of construction sector service providers in Ghana,” Mr Dogbegah said.
Mr Dogbegah, who is also the Vice President for Chartered Institute of Building, Africa, (CIOB), said a local content policy for the sector would enhance the sector’s contribution to national growth.
He said the issue of local construction companies lacking the capacity to deliver on big projects could be addressed with the formulation and passage of the local content policy for the sector.
The local content policy when passed must compel all foreign civil construction companies to partner local construction companies.
He said this would help build and develop the capacity of the local construction companies. “We must pass a law that will prevent foreign companies from securing any construction contract without a local partner over a period of time.
“This will help build the capacity of the local companies within the period and we can then take that protection off after that period so that we all compete”, he said.
He said over-dependence on foreign expatriates for construction works that could be easily carried out by Ghanaians was inimical to the growth of the economy.
Mr Dogbegah said a local content policy would not only ensure increasing Ghanaian participation in the construction sector but would provide employment opportunities.
He said the construction sector was very pivotal in addressing the country’s unemployment issues hence the need to pay adequate attention to the sector by the government.