The Engineering Council of Ghana says it will soon clamp down on engineers and engineering firms operating in the country without registration and licence.
This is to weed out unqualified and unregistered persons and firms in the industry to promote quality service delivery.
This follows the passage of the Engineering Council Regulation, Legislative Instrument L.I. 2410 (2020) by Parliament in October last year, which seeks to regularise engineering practice in the country to attain the highest professional standards and ensure efficient and quality work.
Mr Kwesi Abbey Sam, the Chairman of the Board of the Council, at a news conference in Accra, said the Council had given practitioners up to November 2021 to register and obtain the licence after, which it would crack down on practitioners who failed to do so.
The Chairman said the Council had, therefore, licenced the Ghana Institute of Engineers and the Institution of Engineering and Technology to process the registration of all categories of engineering practitioners, firms and educational units, including expatriates and international companies to ensure easy regulation.
“The L.I. was passed by Parliament on 30th of October, 2020, which means all engineers and engineering firms have a grace period from the day it was passed to November to register and obtain their licence to operate, failure of which will mean one cannot practice in the country after the deadline,” Mr Sam said.
Regulation 38(i) of the L.I. stipulates that “An engineering practitioner or an engineering firm that is not registered with a licenced body on the coming into office of these Regulations shall, within 12 months of coming into office of these regulations register and obtain a licence in accordance with these Regulations.”
The conference, organised by the Council and the Ministry of Works and Housing, was to bring out issues regarding the implementation of the Engineering Council Act, 2011 (Act 819) and the Engineering Council Regulation, Legislative Instrument, L.I. 2410 (2020) to facilitate effective operation of the Council.
It was on the theme: “Regulation of Engineering Practice in Ghana using ACT 819 of 2011 and L.I. 2410 of 2020.”
Mr Sam said the Council would not hesitate to proffer punishment to any person or firm found culpable of breaching the Regulation, which, among other things, included a fine of not less than 2500 penalty units and not more than 5000 penalty units or a term of imprisonment of not less than one year and not more than two years, or to both.
He cautioned the public against soliciting the services of unregistered practitioners to avert unforeseen disasters.
“Where an engineering practitioner, contractor or consultant is contractually engaged with a client before the coming into force of these regulations, it is required that both parties take steps to be compliant with the law in the 12-month window of opportunity provided,” he added.
Mr Francis Asenso-Boakye, the Minister of Works and Housing, urged engineers to prioritise the life of humans over their economic gains in the discharge of their mandates.
He bemoaned the poor execution of some projects in the past resulting in the loss of human lives, a situation he attributed to engineering challenges.
He assured the Council of the Ministry’s commitment to resourcing it to strengthen its monitoring and evaluation activities.
Professor Charles Adams, President of GhIE, said as an institute mandated to enforce the Regulations on behalf of the Council, it would ensure that all practitioners operated within the highest professional standards.