MMDAs advised to outsource building permit issuance to professional bodies
The Minister of Works and Housing, Francis Asenso-Boakye, has urged metropolitan, municipal and district assemblies (MMDAs) to consider outsourcing the issuance of development and building permits to relevant professional bodies within the built environment space.
This, he said, would enhance town planning and reduce the challenges such as flooding and the recent phenomenon of collapse of buildings in the country.
He made the call during the induction ceremony of 55 newly qualified architects in Accra.
The ceremony was a platform to recognise and celebrate the achievements of architects who had successfully completed their training, demonstrating competence in the field.
Mr Asenso-Boakye, who is a built environment professional, highlighted the critical role architects play in ensuring that construction projects met the required standards in terms of safety, functionality, and aesthetics.
He referred to a report by the Ghana Institute of Architects which had revealed that there were no architects and other development professionals such as engineers and planners at many of the MMDAs.
“Who are working on these permits then? No wonder we continue to experience the perennial flooding and the collapse of buildings,” the minister said.
He stressed that until such a time that the MMDAs were able to recruit qualified professionals to assist the processes of permit applications, they should consider outsourcing that important function to the professional bodies.
He, therefore, charged the leadership of professionals in the built environment space to develop an intelligent arrangement to make his call work.
The works and housing minister, who is also the Member of Parliament for the Bantama Constituency, stressed that this would not only lead to better-designed and safer buildings, but would also streamline the often-cumbersome permit application processes, as well as checking the quality of buildings to prevent their collapse.
"Our cities and towns are rapidly evolving, and it is imperative that we adapt to these changes with precision and professionalism.
While MMDAs are at the forefront of development controls, we must recognise that the complexity of this important role demands specialised expertise.
Architects, along with other professionals, can bring a wealth of knowledge and experience to the table,” he added.
Mr Asenso-Boakye further emphasised that this collaborative approach would contribute to the sustainable development of urban areas and improve the overall living conditions of citizens.
"We want our cities to be more than just concrete jungles; we want them to be thriving, aesthetically pleasing, and safe environments for all residents," he said.
He appealed to MMDAs to respond to this call for collaboration with professional bodies.