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Local contractors tipped on deals

By Moses Omusolo | May 24th 2019

Local construction professionals have been urged to take advantage of training opportunities to build their own capacity for bigger projects.

Local contractors have in the past complained of being left out of big projects, with the Government opting for foreign firms.

But according to Kenya Federation of Master Builders Chairman Maurice Owiti, local players are mainly the victims of archaic industry laws which lock them out of the potentially lucrative sector.

“This is a sector than can generate up to 20 per cent of our GDP. However, due to the many challenges that contractors face in their day to day activities, the industry is doing poorly because many contractors big or small almost always operate on a negative cash flow,” said Mr Owiti. He was addressing a stakeholders’ forum in Nairobi on Wednesday. Awiti said lack of unity in the sector also worked against the contractors.

Similar sentiments were voiced at a recent stakeholders’ seminar organised by the Architectural Association of Kenya in partnership with Association of Construction Managers of Kenya and Kenya Federation of Master Builders. Mr Awiti at the same time urged sector plays to build their capacity in contract negotiations and project execution.

“Contractors are in this sector for business and nothing less than a good bargain will help them come out of the frequent financial doldrums and even out of poverty,”he said.

Construction cost consultant Bob Mathenge also urged professionals on the need to continuously update their skills for effective project delivery.

“This means the local contractors must always keep abreast of what it takes for effective project initiation, planning, execution as well as closure,” he said.

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