The Ghana Institute of Construction (GIOC) has appealed to the government to give a quota of national construction projects to local companies to help them survive.

According to the institute, the government also needed to build the capacities of the local companies by fronting for them to get the necessary capital from the banks to execute big projects.

The institute underscored the need for a policy to protect the local construction industry just like the Petroleum (Local Content and Local Participation) Regulation, 2013 (L.I. 2204), which is intended to promote the maximisation of value-addition and job creation through the use of local expertise, goods and services.

The President of the institute, Professor Joshua Ayarkwa, made the call at a ceremony at which GIOC received a cheque for GH¢15,000 from Parakuo Company Limited in support of the upcoming Construction Excellence Awards scheduled for September 28, 2015.

Awards ceremony

The event, which will take place at the Alisa Hotel in Accra, is being organised by the GIOC to mark its 20th anniversary and recognise the hard work of some members over the years.

The GOIC is the umbrella body of all organisations involved in the construction industry such as the Ghana Institute of Architects, Institute of Engineers, Association of Contractors, among others.

Prof. Ayarkwa, who is also the Head of Building Technology Department and the immediate past Vice-Dean of the Faculty of Architecture and Building Technology at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), said foreign companies had advantage over the local ones because they had the capacity to execute jobs, while the local companies were constrained by the lack of capital and equipment.

Therefore, he said, with a well-strategised policy, the government could support the local companies to survive by facilitating the process for them to obtain loans from the banks, as well as grant them quotas for local projects.

Engage professionals

Considering the rate of perennial flooding, fire outbreaks and collapse of buildings, Prof. Ayarkwa urged the government to turn to professionals to help rectify the situation.

Prof. Ayarkwa stressed that the role of professionals in resolving the annual flooding, collapse of buildings, among other related issues, should not be underestimated.

While the institute will continue to do its bit by providing the necessary training for its members, Prof. Ayarkwa asked the government to do its part by ensuring that local companies were adequately equipped to compete with foreign companies.

He thanked Parakuo Company Limited for being the lead sponsor of the awards ceremony, adding that “despite the negative perception about construction work in the country, there were success stories that needed to be appreciated.

The Founder and Chairman of the company, Mr Gabby Mattouk, said the money was the company’s contribution to the institute’s endeavours.

Credit: Graphic