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Building Authority coming up, says PM

NAIROBI, August 15 – Prime Minister Raila Odinga has announced government plans to establish a National Building Authority to regulate the construction industry.

He told engineers during a dinner party organised by the Architectural Association of Kenya (AAK) on Thursday that the Authority would streamline the building industry amid concerns over procurement modalities.

Odinga said the government would continue to engage consultants on a fixed-fee basis to avoid undercutting and the subsequent poor services delivery, whenever state agencies sought technical services from private entities.

He also revealed that the Cabinet had approved the establishment of a Nairobi Metropolitan Authority to review the City’s master plan in tandem with the contemporary demands of the capital.

The Premier recommended removal of archaic policies, which were retrogressive to professionalism among the AAK members noting that some building industry regulations required radical amendments.

Odinga cited the Architects and Quantity Surveyors Act and the Engineers Registration Act, which were enacted in 1934 whose regulations have since been found faulty and counter-productive to the professions.

“Having been enacted 74 years ago, these regulations strangulate the profession but I plan to soon discuss the amendments with my Cabinet colleagues to publish the adjustment in time for tabling in Parliament by the end of the year,” the Prime Minister said.

He further revealed hitches dogging project approval processes would be addressed as consultations with the ministries of Public Works, Lands and Local government were underway.

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He assured the AAK members that the government wanted to inculcate a conducive professional environment that was regulated by clearly defined and forward-looking rules towards the realisation of the Vision 2030 dream.

“Successful transition to Vision 2030 calls for a considerable shift in the manner in which Kenya deploys her resources to acquire the necessary capacity and access to infrastructure,” Odinga said.

He reiterated that the country must achieve the 10 percent growth rate target if widespread poverty afflicting millions of Kenyans was to be reduced but insisted on the urgent need for mobilization of resources for industrial enterprise.

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