2 March 2018

Tanzania: Building Sector Under Scrutiny

INSPECTIONS conducted by officials of the Architects, Quantity Surveyors Registration Board (AQRB) on building projects ought to be cross-examined to avoid fabrication of reports by some dishonest professionals in the industry, the government has instructed

"The board may be conducting the inspections but how can it be assured that the experts who undertook the assignments were not compromised and issued reports in favour of the developers? It is due to this uncertainty that the checks must be re-examined.

"There could be some dishonest officials who may issue clean reports after receiving kick-backs from developers," the Minister for Works, Transport and Communication, Prof Makame Mbarawa, remarked yesterday. Prof Mbarawa gave the instructions in Dar es Salaam yesterday during the inauguration of the 7th Board of Directors of the AQRB under the chairmanship of Architect Dr Ludigija Bulamile who took over from Architect Dr Ambwene Mwakyusa.

Dr Bulamile had earlier informed the minister that the board had conducted inspections on 2,206 building projects in 24 regions during the financial year 2016/2017. The AQRB Act Number 4 of 2010 requires the board to assess building projects in the country. In the previous year, he explained, the board conducted checkups on 1,963 projects against the targeted 1,800 .

Minister Mbarawa was impressed by the development but he was quick to add that such checkups should be thoroughly re-examined to avoid dishonesty by a few crooked officials in the profession. "The board ought to make sure its employees adhere to the law and code of ethics.

Do not hesitate to de-register individuals and companies found to have breached the codes," he directed. Prof Mbarawa also well challenged the board to lower the fees it charges building developers for the benefit of many people and eventually expand the base for revenues

. "The other thing which irks me is the building that hosts your offices; it is dilapidated and does not therefore give an impressive picture to the public given that you are professionals in the construction industry and you ought to own a building with an impressive architectural design," he remarked.

The AQRB chairman had earlier informed the minister that the board had de-registered 237 individuals and 52 companies over professional misconduct. "As of December 31, last year, the board had registered 1,500 professionals and 411 companies, however, the number of experts in the field is still small compared to the demand of the market," he pointed out

. Dr Bulamile noted however that the board faced a number of challenges, including lack of awareness by developers and the general public, who usually confused the profession with engineersThe Chair expressed concerns, centred on many local government authorities hiring people who lacked expertise in architecture and quantity surveying and yet these were expected to approve projects in their respective area


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