Francis Asenso-Boakye, Minister of Works and Housing has urged engineers across the country to prioritise the life of human over their economic gains in the discharge of their mandates.
He has, thus, charged the Engineering Council to effectively regulate the sector to weed out unqualified and unregistered practitioners to ensure the highest professional standards and improve quality of work delivery.
Speaking at a news conference in Accra on Wednesday organised by the Ministry and the Engineering Council, the sector Minister bemoaned the poor execution of some projects in the past, a situation he said had resulted in the loss of many lives and caused damages to properties.
He said engineering failures were major causes of destructive disasters which result in unimaginable damages and therefore the need for practitioners to place human life at the topmost of their list in the discharge of such duties.
“Ghana has witnessed a number of engineering challenges in the past, some good examples are roads and bridges not living up to design expectant lives, inadequate hydraulic structures on waterways resulting in localised floods, and building structural failures resulting in the loss of lives.
“Engineering practitioners should, therefore, not only be concerned with economic gains or prestige reasons but for respecting human life and therefore the need for the Council to effectively enforce its regulations,” Mr. Asenso-Boakye noted.
The conference was to bring out issues regarding the implementation of the Engineering Council Act, 2011 (Act 819) and the Engineering Council Regulation, Legislative Instrument, L.I. 2410 (2020) to facilitate effective operation of the Council.
It was held on the theme: “Regulation of Engineering Practice in Ghana using ACT 819 of 2011 and L.I. 2410 of 2020.”
Parliament in October 2020 passed the Engineering Council Regulation, L.I. 2410 (2020). The Regulation, among other things, seeks to standardise the practice of engineering in the country to ensure efficient and quality work delivery.
The Minister, who is also the Member of Parliament for Bantama, assured the Council of the Ministry’s commitment to resource it to strengthen its monitoring and evaluation performance.
He, therefore, tasked the Council to take bold steps by registering all practitioners, as well as corporate engineering institutions to enable it to monitor, evaluate and take corrective actions on their performances.
Mr Asenso-Boakye appealed to the media to support the Council to educate and sensitise the public on the need to employ qualified and certified engineers for projects to curb unforeseen disasters.
The Minister was optimistic that the passing of the Engineering Council Act, 2011 (Act 819), as well as L.I. 2410 (2020) would help in attaining highest professional standards.
Mr Kwesi Abbey Sam, Chairman of the Engineering Council Board said the Council has licensed the Ghana Institute of Engineers (GhIE) and the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) to process the registration of all categories of engineering practitioners, firms and educational units, including; expatriates and international companies to ensure easy regulation.
He cautioned that engineers and firms who practise after November 2021 without registering with the mandated institutions commit an offence and is liable on summary conviction of to a fine of not less than two thousand five hundred penalty units and not more than five thousand penalty units or a term of imprisonment of not less than one year and not more than two years, or to both.
He assured that the Council would collaborate with the National Accreditation Board and other relevant bodies to ensure that the sector produced quality engineers who met the standard.
Professor Charles Adams, President, GhIE assured of the institute’s readiness to ensure that all practitioners uphold the standardise practice of the profession.