Fri | Dec 15, 2017

Masterbuilders urged to monitor projects carefully

Published:Monday | November 20, 2017 | 12:00 AM
Dr Horace Chang (second from left), minister with responsibility for water, works and housing, makes a point to Carlton Earl Samuels (right), chief of development financing for The Jamaica National Group, while listening in are Humphrey Taylor (left), president of the Incorporated Masterbuilders Association of Jamaica (IMAJ), and Carvel Stewart, past president of the IMAJ. They were attending the IMAJ Conference held at the Jamaica Conference Centre in Kingston earlier this month.

An executive of Jamaica National Group is urging contractors become internationally certified and to use technology to expand their services to new markets overseas.

Speaking at the Incorporated Masterbuilders Association of Jamaica Conference, which was held at the Jamaica Conference Centre in downtown Kingston earlier this month, Carlton Earl Samuels, chief of development financing for the Jamaica National Group, who was representing sponsors JN Bank, said there was no reason the local contractors could not compete for contracts in other markets.

Samuels prodded master builders to further strengthen their competitiveness by reducing inefficiencies through thorough project management.

 

MONITORY OUR PROJECTS

 

"You need to carefully monitor your projects every step of the way to avoid errors, which are costly in time, material and labour. The word 'overrun' should not become synonymous with the work of Jamaican master builders," he stated.

"We should get it right the first time, or quickly identify what are the likely consequences before they happen and address them, so that we don't lose time and money," Samuels continued.

"Why? Because your identity and your reputation are valuable parts of what you offer. Your reputation is your capital. It also adds value to your finished product and strengthens your competitiveness."

He reminded master builders that they are an important segment of the society in shaping national identity through their building of industries and communities and should, therefore, move to address any issue that would retard their progress.

Strengthen engineering to grow economy, says Chang

Government is to focus on strengthening the country's engineering capacity as part of its growth strategy.

That disclosure was made by minister with responsibility for water, works and housing, Dr Horace Chang, while speaking at the Incorporated Masterbuilders Association of Jamaica Conference, which was held at the Jamaica Conference Centre in downtown Kingston earlier this month.

"If we are going to build an economy - a strong, sustainable economy - in which Jamaica will no longer be dependent on others doing us favours, by using us when they want to or don't want to ... we have to build our engineering capacity to ensure we can build industries with quality value-added [offshoots], and, in fact, begin to participate as partners in the international economy," Chang said.

"So the Government is very keen and will introduce policies to expand our engineering capacity," he added.

 

HOUSING, CONSTRUCTION LINKED TO ECONOMY

 

Chang said the housing and construction sector was inextricably linked to the performance of the economy and noted that the health of the sector was usually an indication of how well the country was doing.

He said the Government would be doing what it can to protect local contractors, and reiterated that preference would be given to local players in the industry.

"We have also ensured that some 20 per cent of procurement will be retained for micro and small enterprise activity," he said.

"The total government budget is well over a $100 billion; and not all of it is devoted to construction, of course. However, a majority of it goes to construction development."

Said Chang: "It is important that local contractors and builders be allowed to participate in a fair landscape. Although some may argue that the 15 per cent preference given to local contractors is high, it is important for the Government to protect the local industry."