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Vice President of Ghana, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia

Vice President Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia on September 12 last year assured Ghanaians, especially those in the construction sector, that the economy was returning to normal after the shocks of the global pandemic – the coronavirus.

He noted that the increase in the cost of building materials was due to an unusual increase in shipping costs from Asia.

Read the full story originally published on September 12, 2021 by www.ghanaweb.

The Vice President, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia assured Ghana’s construction industry that the Akufo-Addo government is on track in its resolve to manage and mitigate the debilitating global effect of COVID-19 on the construction industry and the economy in general.

Addressing members of the construction industry on Friday, September 10 at the first edition of the Ghana Construction Industry Excellence Awards, Dr. Bawumia, while commending the immense contribution of Ghanaian contractors to the development of the country, also highlighted the devastating impact of global factors resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic has had on their operations, in particular the increased cost of construction materials due to the unusual increase in shipping costs from Asia.

“Our country is blessed with wonderful men and women, technocrats, professionals and businessmen in the construction industry who have worked tirelessly to get us this far and we must celebrate them. And tonight we are here to celebrate ours,” said Dr Bawumia, in a tribute to members of the construction industry.

“From housing to non-housing, from private construction to public construction, the production of the construction industry is an integral part of national production. Excluding agriculture, construction ranks third after transportation and warehousing and manufacturing in their contribution to national output. Industry is important for its direct and indirect impact on our economic progress.

The Vice President however added that despite the remarkable economic management of the general economy by the Akufo-Addo government during its first term, the growth of the construction industry has been severely affected by the Covid-19 pandemic. 19 that hit globally, with factors affecting the prices of building materials such as iron rods and cement locally.

“The growth and dynamism of the construction industry depends on the growth and dynamism of the economy as a whole. This is why economic management is essential. The economic indicators of our first term bear witness to competent economic management. However, the world suffered a global recession; in fact, this is the worst global recession since 1945, following Covid-19, which hit us hardest in 2020,” the vice president said.

“All over the world, commodity prices have skyrocketed. The cost of shipping containers from China to Europe has risen from around $2,000 in August last year to $13,000 now per container, an increase of 650%. You also have major assets that have gone up due to Covid and all of you in the construction industry know that world prices for cement and iron bars have really skyrocketed. So when we see the same things happening in Ghana, we know why it is happening. It is a global phenomenon in the wake of the pandemic.

Dr Bawumia assured the entrepreneurs that just as the government was carefully managing the economy before Covid-19 devastated it, the government is on track to manage the impact of Covid on the local economy and industries, including including the construction sector.

“We are trying to manage the impact in Ghana and we are not doing too badly compared to many other countries, and we need to do even better,” Dr Bawumia assured, adding that the government was undertaking many measures, including including the resolution to lower the interest rate.

“We have completed projects with most of your members and we have decided to consolidate, with prudent macro-fiscal policies that put us back on track to restore economic stability and growth that will foster a resilient financial ecosystem;

“Ladies and gentlemen, the government intends to cooperate and collaborate fully with the Ghana Chamber of the Construction Industry. We have had fruitful interactions with the chamber and we must continue to interact with these engagements to increase the job creation potential of the industry.”

‘The soon-to-be-established Development Bank must ensure that there is long-term funding for development projects. I fully understand that the cost of borrowing has been one of the binding constraints for the industry and we hope that the development bank will provide low cost interest to entrepreneurs and any project finance activity. “

Dr Bawumia also said that the government’s commitment to strengthening the construction industry is also evident in the number of laws it has enacted to “rehabilitate, develop and regulate the construction industry to facilitate the development “.

Some of the legislation mentioned by the Vice President included the Engineering Council Regulations 2020 (LI 2410), Estate Agents Act, 2020, Rental Act Revision, 1963, Act 220; Land Law, 2020, Law 1036; Education Regulatory Bodies Act of 2020 (ERBA), Skills Development Act 1023, Public-Private Partnership Act of 2020, Act 1039.