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Government to clamp down on illegal foreign, local architects
Posted on: 03-Aug-2012         Source: GNA
The Ministry of Water Resources, Works and Housing (MWRWH) would soon clamp down on illegal activities of some foreign and local architects and engineers operating in the Built Environment.

The move is in compliance with the Architects Decree 1969 and Bye-Law of the Architect Registration Council (ARC) that required the professionals to seek licence from the Council before operating in the country.

Dr Hannah Louisa Bissiw, Deputy Minister of Water Resources, Works and Housing, announced this at the 12th Induction ceremony organised for newly registered architects in Accra on Thursday.

She said the Ministry would work in close collaboration with the ARC to provide the appropriate sanctions for offenders.

Dr Bissiw said “Whereas some have complied, others have crept into the country and are cowardly operating without licence”.

“The Ministry is urging all such illegal architects to do the right thing by seeking licence from the ARC.”

She stressed that MWRWH would be “At the heels of such unauthorised persons… and would deal with them in accordance with the laws of Ghana”.

Dr Bissiw said the Government was working to ensure that the standards for architectural and engineering designs as well as building code and regulations were developed and enforced through the National Human Settlements Policy and Strategy.

She said a scheme of service in support of the establishment and operations of the ARC had been developed and submitted to the Public Services Commission for Review and Validation.

Dr Bissiw said “When this is through, the ARC would have Operational Units for Practice, Registration and Regulations; as well as Administration, Finance and Human Resource Departments”.

She urged the newly-inducted architects to apply themselves to humility, patience and build a solid foundation for their profession without compromising its principles and ethics.

“You must continue to learn, to research and above all, pay attention to details,” she added.

Mr Henry D.L. Yartey, Chairman of ARC told journalists that the issue of slums in the cities had been hugely politicised, citing the case of Sodom and Gomorrah.

He said past and present Accra Metropolitan Chief Executives had tried to relocate the inhabitants at Sodom and Gomorrah but had been advised against the move because of politics.

Mr Yartey said due to lack of political will on the matter, inhabitants at Sodom and Gomorrah had stalled progress made thus far on the Korle Lagoon Ecological Restoration Project.

He expressed disquiet that the stalled project had caused millions of dollars to “go down the drain” and had deprived the Gas their yearly supply of fresh tilapia which they used to fish from the lagoon, especially during the Homowo festive season.

Other areas where Mr Yartey expressed concern included congestion at the Central Business District, open public drains and lack of maintenance culture of public buildings.

He called on Parliament to pass an Act that would empower the metropolitan assemblies to periodically inspect and certify public buildings to ensure that they were properly and regularly maintained.

Mr Adotei Brown, President of Ghana Institute of Architects, urged the 55 newly-inducted architects to develop the habit for proper record keeping and observe the bye laws of the Institute to enhance their profession.

He advised them to avoid the snares in the profession which included unhealthy competition.

Mr Wiliam Ato Essien, Chief Executive Officer of First Capital Plus, a private firm, urged the inductees to adopt a step-by-step approach towards success in life while putting God first in their endeavours.