Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana Chamber of Construction Industry, Emmanuel Cherry , has urged government to expedite its intention in enabling mass production of local building raw materials.
According to him, government must put in place measures to reduce cost of credit, electricity and other essentials.
This, he explains, will ensure that local building materials remains prominent in the country’s construction industry.
“Which government policies have been put in place to make sure that the economy is business-friendly for our local manufactures to take advantage of? Those are the questions we are asking. Take the lending rate, for instance, go to the financial market and check how much it is and let’s ask ourselves, the price of fuel, how much is it today? The price of other materials that constitute to production, for instance, electricity, what are we doing about this?
“It is laudable what the minister intends to do but if the economic indicators are not viable to support industry everything that the minister has said, it’s going to be rhetoric. It’s just going to be a funfair”.Emmanuel Cherry
His comment follows an announcement by the Housing Minister, Francis Asenso Boakye, who intimated that his ministry will lobby for the use of local materials for constructing government projects.
High cost of building materials
Meanwhile, Chief Executive of B5 Plus, Makwesh Takwani, has disclosed that high freight and increasing prices of raw materials have resulted in high cost of building materials in the country. According to him, products impacted by the spike includes iron rods and cement.
Mr. Takwani further emphasized that, although the situation is worrying, producers cannot be blamed.
“We had about a triple rise in the cost of freight and the price of the raw materials. Example is, scrub in Ghana has also been a problem; so all these are adding to the cost of the products.
“The industry is expanding and we need more of government support; so that we can be able to increase the supply for the West African market”.Makwesh Takwani
Use of local building materials
Mr. Asenso-Boakye in May this year, revealed that government is creating affordable housing areas where basic amenities will be provided. According to him, this is to reduce the cost burden on private developers.
He further intimated that public-private partnerships will help reduce the country’s housing deficit. Under the new housing scheme, the government is expected to secure lands for construction.
“At Dedesua in Kumasi, the Asantehene has given the ministry land to construct affordable housing project. Soon, we will declare the place affordable housing enclave where government will provide basic amenities to reduce burden on State Housing Company, our anchor developer and other private developers”.Mr. Asenso-Boakye
The State Housing Company will be the anchor for developers to attract other private operators.
Additionally, the sector minister noted that the Ministry will attempt to meet government’s affordable housing target via local construction materials.
Mr. Asenso Boakye further averred that, burnt bricks and other local materials, will be vital in the new affordable housing units.
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