3 July 2012

Kenya: Contractors to Be Licensed Afresh

Nairobi — All contractors who wish to undertake any construction project in the country will now have to be registered and licensed a fresh by the National Construction Authority before undertaking any works.

Public Works Minister Chris Obure said the National Construction Authority which is to be launched on Wednesday is aimed at streamlining the construction industry in Kenya.

Obure said the key thing to be observed by the Authority will be the capacity of any constructor including professional qualification, enough staff and financial capability especially those dealing with government projects.

He said that this will do away with contractors who have been doing shoddy jobs and have led to the stalling or delay of many important government projects.

"During registration they will ensure the contractor has enough qualified technical staff. A lot of projects fail because the contractor does not have competent staff to supervise the project," Obure said.

So far there are over 6000 contractors in the countries a number which the Ministry's Permanent Secretary John Lonyangapuo said may reduce greatly due to the new development.

'So for you to come running with your money and pretending to be a contractor that will be a thing of the past. Again no Ministry will be pretending to be a builder any more. So it is going to take time and everybody has to move with the changes," Lonyangapuo reiterated.

He said the Ministry is almost finalizing on some of the 225 stalled projects.

He said: "One of the most famous one is the Nyanza Provincial Headquarters which was started in 1986 and my minister was noting the other day that the chief electrical engineer who came to complete part of the project was born in 1986."

Other duties to be addressed by the Authority include advising the government on the funding of various government projects, develop and publish a code of conduct for the construction industry; certify skilled construction workers among other duties.

He has also called for more employment of experts in the construction sector in his Ministry adding that it has 2400 technicians instead of 17,000 staff.

He said the Authority board will include representation from the Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Housing, Local Government, and the Roads Ministry. Others in the board will include Architectural Association, Institute of Quantity Surveyors of Kenya, Law Society of Kenya and the Institution of Engineers of Kenya.

"When a building falls, people will always blame us, calling us a Ministry of shame'. That is why from now on we are going to wash our hands. Because the Authority has come," said Lonyangapuo.

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