The Addis Ababa City Administration Construction and Housing Development Bureau (ACHDB) has temporarily stopped issuing license for new contractors and consultants and shifting its attention to counter checking licenses that were issued last year to contactors who used false documents.
The Ministry of Urban Development, Housing and Construction (MUDHCo) ordered the bureau to pause giving new license and to check whether the documents that were presented by companies that were given license were authentic. The ministry gave the order after receiving repetitive comments that some contractors got license by presenting forged documents.
Licenses that were issued in the 2014/15 fiscal year are subject to investigation.
Source at MUDHCo told Capital that some contractors produced forged ownership certificates of vehicles and machineries to secure works in the vast construction sector in Addis Ababa, and becoming a main cause for low quality works.
The source added that the construction industry has been invaded by contractors whose capabilities are questionable.
Currently, 2,000 contractors and 491 consultants are active in the construction sector in Addis Ababa. Recently, five contractors were caught red-handed producing 42 fake documents to ACHDB to get Grade One and Two contractor’s license.
Tsegaye Worku, CEO of Construction and Industry Development and Regulatory Authority at ACHDB, told Capital that his office will report results of the inspection that started last week to MUDHCo in a short time. “This is normal. Like any other license giving body, we’re inspecting the documents and we’ll cancel licenses that were obtained using false documents.”
Tsegaye said the authority will resume its service in few days.
An engineer who claims anonymity said that government offices do not work in a coordinated manner to run the construction sector in the right way.
“One vehicle ownership certificate is used by two different companies. Many works are done by contractors who don’t have the right number and quality of engineers. This greatly affected the quality of constructions.”
Some experts in the industry demanded the government to seriously supervise construction license issuance to deter cheaters. Desta Shewamolla, Head of Construction and Industry Development and Regulatory Office at MUDHCo said the ministry has begun working on an assignment to connect all concerned stakeholders with a network.
“The great part of the problem is that we don’t have a networked mechanism with construction bureaus to counter check applications. Machineries ownership licenses are given by MUDHCo and cheaters counterfeit this certificate and bring it to the construction license issuing body.’’
Contractors who work with fraudulent documents have become persistent headache on projects that are undertaken by regions. This predicament is less prevalent in Addis Ababa as contractors are given both machineries ownership certificate and contractor’s license by one office – the Ministry of Urban Development, Housing and Construction.