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A joint committee is to be formed by the relevant government offices and affiliated companies to find solutions for the problems besetting road and bridge construction in Ethiopia.
The new idea for the formation of a joint committee was raised during discussions held at the Ghion Hotel that was organized by the Ethiopian Roads Authority (ERA). It was agreed by all that one solution for a lasting remedy would be capacity building and improvement training given to the management and technical employees of local companies engaged in this sector.
Currently, the performance of local contractors is woeful, to say the least. They face severe management and skilled manpower shortage which reflects on the quality of their work. The training for capacity building and improvement is expected to address and alleviate these problems, while the formation of the joint committee is for the assessment on the progress being made by the local contracting firms. On the final presentation and discussion held on Thursday, October 11, at the Ghion Hotel several issues related to the problem was raised. The presentation was given by Bekele Negussie, Deputy Director General, Planning and ICT of ERA, emphatically stated that the government will be forced to take strong measures on contractors, consultants and professionals who delay projects constantly. “Those who are involved in unethical work practices will be held accountable,” the Deputy explained.
During the discussion several participants indicated that the stake holders, both from the private sector and government, would have to constantly evaluate and find solutions for the problems that will arise along the way. They said that currently the sector is bogged down in a vicious circle. ”The current plan that has been put forward by the government which is to take strong measures on contractors and supervisors may effect temporary change and might act as a deterrent, but for the strong and permanent change and strong growth of the sector several constructive measures have to be taken by the joint committee in the future,” Tadesse Yemane (Eng), Head of Sur Construction suggested.
“Before taking strong measures on the sector problems have to be identified clearly and solutions found,” Tadesse told Capital.
He said that this is will be a good opportunity for the new joint committee to do just that. “ “We can form a competent industry if we solve problems at the grassroots level, and that will depend to some extent on the committee to be formed,” Sur’s head added.
According to Tadesse, detailed solutions to the problems will have to be a priority.
He cited lack of skilled or qualified manpower related to operations and maintenance, adequate management skills, plus supply and management of machineries and resources are key problems contributing to the sectors woes, and which need to be acted on decisively and quickly.
Diriba Kuma, Minister of Transport and board chairman of ERA told participants that the government will form the committee that will include all stakeholders related to the sector’s growth.
Bekele informed Capital that ERA has a vested interest in the formation of the joint committee. “We believe it can solve the problems and enhance sector growth,” Bekele added.