Outsource the issuance of development and building permits to professionals bodies – Asenso-Boakye

The Minister for Works and Housing, Francis Asenso-Boakye has urged Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs) to seriously consider outsourcing their function of the issuance of development and building permits to the relevant professional bodies within the built environment space to help reduce the perennial flooding and the recent phenomenon of collapse of buildings in the country.

The Minister’s call comes in response to concerns about the lack of necessary expertise at the MMDA level for effectively carrying out this vital task in the development of our cities and towns. This call to action was made during the induction ceremony of 55 newly qualified architects, which took place at the Shippers House in Accra. The ceremony was a platform for recognizing and celebrating the achievements of these architects who had successfully completed their rigorous training, demonstrating their competence in the field.

Addressing the gathering, the Hon. Asenso-Boakye, who is built environment professional (planner) himself highlighted the critical role architects play in ensuring that construction projects meet the required standards in terms of safety, functionality, and aesthetics. He referred to report from the Ghana Institute of Architects which states that there are no architects and other development professionals such as engineers and planners at many of the MMDAs. “Who are working on these permits then? No wonder we continue to experience the perennial flooding and the collapse of buildings”, the minister intimated.

He stressed that until such a time that the MMDAs are able to recruit qualified professionals to assist the processes of permit applications, they should seriously consider outsourcing that important function of the Assemblies to the professional bodies. He therefore charged the leadership of the involvement of professionals in the built environment space to develop an intelligent arrangement to make his call work.

This Hon Asenso-Boakye stressed will not only lead to better-designed and safer buildings, but also, streamline the often-cumbersome permit application processas, well as curbing the rampant collapse of buildings in the country.

The Minister stated, “Our cities and towns are rapidly evolving, and it is imperative that we adapt to these changes with precision and professionalism. While MMDAs are at the forefront of development controls, we must recognize that the complexity of important role demands specialized expertise. Architects, along with other professionals, can bring a wealth of knowledge and experience to the table.

He further emphasized that this collaborative approach would contribute to the sustainable development of urban areas and improve the overall living conditions of citizens. “We want our cities to be more than just concrete jungles; we want them to be thriving, aesthetically pleasing, and safe environments for all residents,” he added.

The Minister’s call to involve these professionals in the permit issuance process signals a shift towards a more holistic and expert-driven approach to development control mechanisms in the country.

As the country looks toward a future of urban growth and development, the Minister’s initiative is set to raise the bar for the building and construction industry, ensuring that buildings are not just structures but also works of art and functionality. He appealed to MMDAs to respond to this call for collaboration with professional bodies.

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