Dr. Nana Ato Arthur, Head of the Local Government Service, recently emphasized the urgent need for streamlining building permit processes across Metropolitan, Municipal, and District Assemblies (MMDAs) in Ghana. Speaking at the second annual general meeting of the Local Government Service Engineers Association (LoGSEA) in Accra, Dr. Ato Arthur highlighted the complexities and bureaucratic hurdles that applicants often face.

He stressed that simplifying the permit processes would not only reduce bureaucratic delays but also enhance transparency, accessibility, and efficiency. These improvements are crucial as they would facilitate proper decision-making by MMDAs, balancing individual developer needs with community interests.

Dr. Ato Arthur pointed out that the current challenges include difficult data accessibility, poor coordination among permit processing institutions, and frustrations among citizens. These issues have sometimes led to haphazard property development and construction without necessary technical advice or permits from MMDAs.

Implementing an efficient permit system, according to Dr. Ato Arthur, is essential for creating a conducive environment that supports development, attracts investment, and promotes overall growth.

The meeting also discussed the formation of a committee by the Ministry of Trade and Industry, tasked with introducing reforms and developing unified electronic systems for the permit processes. This initiative aims to standardize and modernize permit issuance across all MMDAs.

Additionally, Dr. Ato Arthur urged engineers within MMDAs to uphold professional standards, foster innovation, and collaborate effectively with other departments to avoid working in isolation. He assured stakeholders that the Local Government Service is committed to providing policy guidance, logistical support, and training to ensure that MMDAs are well-equipped to manage efficient and effective building permit systems.

In support of these efforts, Mr. Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, Minister of Works and Housing, highlighted government initiatives to empower engineers through legislation such as the Engineers Council Act 2011 (Act 819). He also mentioned the establishment of a works inspectorate unit under the Ministry to monitor construction activities and enforce building standards, aimed at reducing incidents of building collapses.

Mr. Vincent Ekow Assafuah, Deputy Minister of Local Government, Decentralisation, and Rural Development, emphasized the critical role of permits in ensuring regulatory compliance, promoting safety, and safeguarding public interests. He called for the timely issuance of permits to alleviate challenges faced by applicants and enhance overall regulatory effectiveness.

Overall, the discussions underscored Ghana’s commitment to enhancing its regulatory frameworks, improving service delivery, and fostering sustainable urban development through streamlined building permit processes.


SOURCE: GhanianTimes

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