The Ghana Chamber of Construction Industry is warning that Ghanaians are likely to struggle to rent and acquire houses in the near future, if nothing is done to halt the unusual rise in the price of building materials.
This follows calls made by former Deputy Finance Minister, Kwaku Kwarteng to Parliament, for the house to interrogate and find solutions to the unusual hikes.
Speaking to Citi Business News on the issue, the CEO of the Chamber of Construction Industry, Emmanuel Cherry said that is what they’ve been calling for, and urged government to take a keen interest in the issue as it will eventually impact its budget.
“Honestly speaking we have taken a key interest in the issue, that’s the reason we took the pains to petition parliament. So we welcome the call by the former Deputy Minister of Finance. The time to correct the development is now. There is no better time than now to take steps to save this country. Because a time is coming if we are not careful you cannot rent or buy a house because of this challenge.”
“A time is coming, if government is not careful, building cost is going to be so alarming that a kilometre of road is going to be expensive. Even as we speak, automatically, all contractors who have abandoned site if they are moving back, their contracts might have to be reviewed upwards, which will impact government’s budget. So let’s all come together to resolve the problem before it gets out of hand,” he added.
Parliament must probe ‘unusual’ high cost of building materials – Kwaku Kwarteng
A former Deputy Finance Minister, Kwaku Kwarteng has charged Parliament to look into the reasons behind the recent hikes in the prices of building materials such as sand, stones, cement, iron rods and the likes.
Some building contractors in the past few months have been lamenting the continuous toll the price hikes on building materials, have been having on their businesses.
Speaking on the floor of Parliament on Wednesday, July 7, 2021, Mr. Kwarteng noted that if the situation is not checked, prices of other building-related services will also rise.
“These price developments have triggered further hikes in building-related services, such as excavations, drilling, tiling etc. Indeed, I have heard complaints that even water supply to construction sites and construction labour have all become unusually more expensive. It is hard to figure out the source of these unusual price increases. We know that Parliament has not passed any law that could have added any tax or levy to the prices of these items.”
“Mr. Speaker, it is a strange development that must be frontally addressed. We need to check this for the sake of the construction industry, and more importantly, we need to get to the bottom of this disturbing development to ensure that it does not spread to other commodities and other industries on the market. It is, therefore, my respective view that Parliament needs to take steps, under our standing orders and the law, to assist the country deal with this matter,” he added.