Chief Executive Officer(CEO) of the Ghana Chamber of Construction Industry(GhCCI) Mr. Emmanuel Cherry, has stated that his outfit is going to embark on stringent measures to deal with non-registered contractors who are proliferating shoddy roads across the country, as a result denting the reputation of his outfit.
Mr. Cherry bemoaned the problem of “shoddy” roads across the country which bears no value to their costs, attributing it to contractors with no technical know-how but with strong connections with party faithfuls who lobby for contracts for them without properly checking if they are registered or not.
He however said that the problem of shoddy roads comes in two-fold, those who don’t get adequate funding from the government even though they are registered and have legal contracts with the government to construct roads, and those who are not registered and lacks the technical know-how to execute the contract but rather has adequate funds secured for them by their lobbyists within the government.
“Some people have a way of acquiring their contracts, I don’t know how they do it, but to the best of our knowledge we have the sole-sourcing and competitive tendering, so that’s what we know if you’re sole-sourcing, which means one contractor is been pegged, the job is given to that contractor, he goes to execute, pay, he washes his hands off it but in competitive tendering, more than two, three contractors come bidding for the same job and then the winner takes it, that’s what we know” he told Uniiq FM on Wednesday, February 17.
“The underhand dealings that we talk about, it may be in a way, party people or party gurus within the party hierarchy who twist the hand of the system to favor their party faithfuls and what have you, it’s also there we cannot rule it out because there is favoritism in all the auditors, in certain rules some of them at times have been bent, so we cannot override it, it happens, we can’t pretend, it happens but that one is on a lighter note”.
Mr. Cherry further said “the major one we are talking about here is, the person has been able to go through the mill, get the job, go to site, execute the job with real certificate. With the shoddy works we’re talking about, it’s imperative, number 1: the shoddy work has been genuine shoddy work, in the sense that the contractor doesn’t have the technical know-how of dealing with that job. Number 2: it could be that the contractor has the know-how but the awarding agency also failed to follow its obligations according to the contractual terms, the reason why I said so happens to be, as I said earlier, in every contract, there is a condition, there’s a caveat attached to the clauses of that particular contract so in a road contract the maximum is ninety(90) days, the contractor goes to secure an award, he mobilizes and goes to site, according to the contract terms, if there’s risk certificate, at times some of them say if you can have 20% risk certificate, some of them say 50%, some 30% risk certificate if you’re able to reach that particular requirement of the first percentage of risk certificate, the onus lies on the awarding agency to pay you within ninety(90) days for you to go back and continue”.
“But here lies the case, a contractor has been able to raise certificate, submit the entry payment certificate to the awarding agency, instead of the awarding agency paying him for the first ninety(90) days, the certificate transmits into one year, two years, three years, four years and five years. So let’s take, for instance, if the first phase, we saw what the contractor has done and awaiting payment to continue the second phase, third phase may be, the project is segmented into maybe four phases, so the first phase, before you pay the contractor for him to go back and continue the second phase, the first phase might possibly lose its relevance or must be degraded. So if the contractor goes he’s not going to continue to work on the first phase again, he has finished with that, according to the contract terms so he moves to phase two or phase three and finish it up, so by the time the contractor finish that contract you’ll see that what he has done before starts losing its value because he was no able to continue on time, so when the contractor finishes you’ll think it’s a shoddy work but it’s no fault of the contractor because the awarding agency has not paid him on time to be able to go and continue on time, according to the contractual agreement” he charged.
He went on to emphasize that “notwithstanding, there are other shoddy ones that we can speak to, those ones we are going to deal with them in no time. For now, the system is so porous that anybody just gets up and start calling himself contractor because there’s no proper regulation in place so all the professionals, the build environment operators, we have come together, to say, okay since we have architect registration council act, we have engineering acts, sovereign council bill is also on the way now hoping to be passed, now with the contractors we don’t have any regulation so what we have decided to do is to come up with an authority, if that regulation is passed, automatically you cannot just get up and call yourself a contractor without recourse to the requisite licenses and classifications there about, the classification you’re seeing today, it doesn’t hold”.
By Barima Kwabena Yeboah|3news.com|Ghana