THE construction industry is among the fastest growing sectors in the country. But, it is unfortunate that the industry up-to-date has no indicative costs and standards, something that gives room to exploitation, swindling and execution of shoddy jobs. And the government has chipped in to bring sanity to the sector.
The Minister for Works, Transport and Communications, Prof Makame Mbarawa, implored the National Construction Council (NCC) to work out a plan which is going to lay down indicative construction costs and standards, to act as a reference to the public.
“Currently, the country is facing a challenge in identifying uniform prices of constructing houses, buildings and airstrips . . . if you happen to ask an expert in the country, what is the cost of constructing a unit per square metre of a house, there is no similar answer,” Prof Mbarawa said.
The call could not have come at a better time than this. The construction industry has for a long time been hogged by irregularities, with many constructors accused of doing shoddy jobs.
So many concerns have been raised over buildings that are built and there is no value for money. On the same footing, there have been complaints of exorbitant prices being charged to some clients by several construction firms. And the absence of indicative costs makes the situation worse as a constructor is not guided by anything when giving out a quotation.
This means that for the same project, it is easy to get extremely different quotations from constructors. The coming in of the indicative costs and standards will go a long way in bringing sanity to the industry and exploitation will come a thing of the past.
Though the minister only urged the NCC to work on the schedule, it is important they be given a deadline so that they can fast-track the whole process.
It is imperative that this be done as soon as possible, since it is long overdue.