Henry Kwadwo Boateng — President, Institute of Engineering and Technology, Ghana
Henry Kwadwo Boateng — President, Institute of Engineering and Technology, Ghana

Proper project management key to successful execution — IET President

Present and successive governments have been urged to undertake proper project management by planning adequately with the resources at their disposal before embarking on infrastructural projects, the President of the Institute of Engineering and Technology, Ghana (IET-Gh), Henry Kwadwo Boateng, has said.

That, he said, would prevent cost overruns and projects from stalling midstream as a result of lack of funds, thereby leading to the wastage of money.

“Plan the project very well before you start the execution.

When you are planning, you bring the requisite personnel and everything on board for it to be looked at carefully to see how viable it would become.

Even the users of a project could be involved to make their inputs and other suggestions to fine-tune it.

Thus, proper planning is very important,” he said.  

Proper planning, he said, prevented variations and other scope of works that might be added later and, thereby, bring about additional costs, altering the original budget for a project.

Mr Boateng told the Daily Graphic that it was quite worrying that huge sums of money were spent on projects that were initiated and abandoned along the way due to the lack of proper planning.

“They should embark on projects they can complete.

This is something all governments must do because it looks like project continuity is not part of us,” he said, and that doing too many projects at a time was not helpful.

He said over the years, it was sad that governments only rushed into beginning projects without proper planning.

“Governments just rush into projects without doing any proper project management and that resulted in the variation of projects and their costs,” he said, adding that “this must change because we can’t continue wasting money”.

Abandoned projects

Mr Boateng appealed to the present and successive governments to endeavour to execute projects it could complete even when there was a change in leadership in the same party.

That, he said, was to ensure that projects were not abandoned and left to rot when there was a change of administration.

He said, for instance, that some projects initiated by former President John Agyekum Kufuor had still not been completed under the current New Patriotic Party administration while some projects started by the late Prof. John Evans Atta Mills were not completed under former President John Mahama during the National Democratic Congress regime.

Such practices, he said, led to the wastage of resources that could have been invested into other profitable ventures.

“So when you are in power, you should try to execute projects that you can complete because the failure to do that would result in additional cost.

This is because when there is a change in government, even if it is the same party, trust me, most of the projects would be abandoned,” he said.

He said the culture of continuity was not part of the body politic of Ghanaians and that interference of politicians by not allowing technocrats to work was also a problem. 

“I pray that the Agenda 111 projects will be completed.

They must try and finish all because some of the projects are as low as 20 per cent and 30 per cent, far behind schedule.

It is not just putting up the facility; you must provide the equipment and personnel for it to function,” he said.

Governments, he said, must also not use projects to blackmail citizens by telling them that certain projects done halfway would continue once they were re-elected to stay in power.

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