Construction industry stakeholders have welcomed the new national construction policy draft proposal, saying it will streamline the sector and solve the challenges it currently faces, when the law is approved by the Cabinet.
According to the Minister for Infrastructure, Prof. Silas Lwakabamba, the draft policy addresses issues like inherent market restrictions, limited access to credit, lack of management capacity and classification of local contractors, allowing for flexibility in the sector.
The policy will also promote specialisation and empower local consultants to take on big projects, as well as ensure that they access the necessary equipment and materials, Lwakabamba added.
Lillian Mupende, the City of Kigali director for urban planning and construction, said when approved and implemented, they will streamline operations in the sector.
“The construction sector is one of the major pillars of our economy. If it is organised and regulated, this will attract more investment into the sector and promote quality and consumer safety,” Mupende, who is also the head of the city’s One Stop Centre, noted.
She said, when implemented, the policy will help improve the technical capacity of local contractors, thus creating more employment opportunities for the youth.
According to Peterson Mutabazi, a principle senior engineer at the Ministry of Infrastructure, the policy will strengthen compliance and adherence to sector standards.
“The draft policy articulates the core functions and priorities of government in the industry and addresses issues like lack of maintenance plans.”
Eric Ntagengerwa, the head of planning at the Rwanda Transport Development Agency, said the policy is timely, especially “when the agency is facing a lot of challenges with some contractors”. “Regulating the sector will help address the issues of lack of quality, inefficiency and lack of categorisation in the industry,” Ntagengerwa noted.
According to the draft policy, government involvement in the sector, especially implementation of physical infrastructure projects, will reduce, creating more room for the private sector to take on the mantel.
Dismas Nkubana, the chairman of the Rwanda Engineers Governance Council, said the policy is sort of a ‘one-stop centre’ that should be exploited by stakeholders to the benefit of the public.
“Combing different players in the industry will make it easy for it to work as one entity. Easy supervision and accountability will bring sanity to the industry,” Nkubana argued.
Lwakabamba said the draft policy is one of the ministry’s initiatives aimed at creating favourable conditions that allow the population to access equitable and reliable infrastructure, including transport, urbanisation, habitation and energy, while protecting the environment.