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AMA sensitises the public on building permit

June 29, 2016, 8:41 a.m.

The International Finance Corporation (IFC) of the World Bank Group and Swiss Economic Co-operation Secretariat, together with the Town and Country Planning Department of the Accra

Metropolitan Assembly have developed communication materials on the ongoing reforms on development and building permit process.

This was initiated to inform, sensitise and educate the public on the proper communication materials needed on reforms development, as well as building licenses processes.

The Metro Chief Executive,Alfred Okoe Vanderpuije,at a presentation ceremony, said the main essence of the development permitting is to ensure orderliness, safety, good health and convenience within our various communities, which serves to act as a vital source of internally generated revenue for assemblies towards the implementation of its plans, programmes and projects.

He stated that the development and building permitting as a statutory mandate of all MMDAs stipulated in Section 49 of Local Government Act, Act 462, (1993)states that, “No Physical development shall be carried out in a district without prior approval in the form of a written permit granted by the District Planning Authority.”

He mentioned the delays and frustrations that could characterise the application process if applicants do not have the right information with the view that these communication materials would be very important.

He said the Accra Metropolitan Planning Committee has over the past years made a lot of effort to curtail the delays that are inherent in the process and the frustrations that applicants go through to have their development projects approved.

“Our records reveal that the assembly has successfully been able to reduce the processing time to an average of 30days instead of 90 days as stipulated by the National Building Regulations,” he added.

Dr Okoe Vanderpuije further stressed the need for the educational campaign which the assembly has started with the support of the IFC, adding that it was a great step to inform and educate the prospective applicants and the general public about the permitting process.

He noted that this would go a long way to correct the negative perception many people had in permitting the process.

He took the opportunity to express his gratitude to the National Director of Town and Country Planning Department, as well as the International Finance Corporation (IFC) for the support towards the assembly’s effort at educating and sensitising the general public on the development and building permitting process.

The Country Officer of IFC, Mr Joseph AkwasiKumah, also added that investment in the sector is on the rise, taking advantage of increased demand for residential, office accommodation and hospitality services arising from the growth of middle-income population group.

He cited the construction sector in Ghana, which stood at an average registered growth rate of 14% over the period 2011 to 2014, expected to maintain the same pace growth over the medium term to 2017.

Mr AkwasiKumah said the IFC strategy in Ghana includes improvement of business and investment environment, which explains IFC’s support of construction permit reform as one aspect of the overall investment climate.

He said the objective of Ghana Construction Permit Reform project is to be achieved through targeted legal and institutional framework reform to improve issuance for construction permits.

He mentioned the two main areas the project would provide support, which included Streamlining and simplification of the permit issuance process and improving the legal, regulatory and institutional framework for efficient permit system.

He revealed that the project commenced in October last year with a comprehensive scoping mission, followed by a diagnostic report that was validated at a forum of the relevant stakeholders.