Ghana Electrical Contractors Association (GECA) has warned that the incessant increase in the prices of electrical cables is promoting the usage of inferior cables in the construction of buildings.
President of the Association, Awal Sakib Mohammed revealed to Alfred Ocansey in an interview on 3FM Sunrise Morning Show that a lot of the buildings he has seen are sitting on a time bomb because of the inferior cables that were used in their wiring.
“In Ghana, our system is not well regulated. Both public and some private jobs are lumped up and given to one person who is a building contractor who wants to maximize his profit as a businessman. However some of them are not able to price well for the electrical works and in order to make up for the underpricing, they force the electrical person to go with any amount. The electrical person too would have to compromise on quality in order to be able to do the job”
GECA is therefore pushing for separation of jobs so that electrical jobs are awarded separately to specialized electrical companies, whereas the civil and building work is given to a civil engineer so that we can have very good electrical installations in Ghana.
“I tell people that a lot of the buildings that I know in this country are sitting on time bomb because quality have been compromised” Awal Sakib alleged.
He explained that the cost of borrowing and cedi depreciation are seriously affecting the cost of cables and thus contributing highly to the use of inferior cables and shoddy electrical works in Ghana. According to the electrical contractor, estimates are made for electrical works in advance but as the construction progresses, the price instability affects the budget allocation and in order for the contractor not to incur greater losses, he or she would resort to lesser expensive and inferior alternative materials.
“Building construction does not take a day to complete and there are some of the jobs we even price before a sod is cut so you have already estimated how much it would cost and the client has also made financial commitment. But you are left with no choice than to complete the project though the prices of cables have gone up.”
Awal Sakib also stated that unfortunately he has been compelled by the current economic trends to ask about half of his employees to stay home which has become a common trend in the electrical construction industry under the current economic climate.
“Personally I have declined some invitations to tender for contracts because I cannot predict how prices are going to be tomorrow” the President of GECA told 3FM.
“I know a number of our members, contractors who have died or are dying because they have entered into contracts that are strict and they are now forced to complete the project with their additional money. The nature of our business is such that for some contracts, you are required to bring a bank guarantee and have to use your properties as collateral before the banks may give the guarantee” Mr. Sakib.
He added that in the situation whereby the cedi keeps depreciating in value, the contractor is plunged into a dire situation and sometime end up losing his or her properties which were used as a loan guarantee because the price variation has affected the project so much to the extent debt has been incurred. Credit: 3news.com