Every tongue that wags on completion of any project is usually about something the contractor did wrong. Additionally, anything and everything that goes wrong usually results in blame on the contractor. Contractors are the players in the major stage of any type of project; a stage usually marred by interference by many factors ranging from politics, to environment, to economy and even to the whims of the public.
Many projects have been affected by politics; causing extensive damage and loss to contractors. Mistakes that would normally be considered salvageable are transformed into air and blown up into gigantic messes. Remember the Part failure of a section of the SGR? It resulted in massive attack of the work done by the contractor, claims of the contractor being unqualified and claims of the money having been washed down the drain. Another example is the Thika Superhighway project; upon completion a lot of noise was made on the sub standard work yet the road still stands albeit a few problems. Claims of all contractors loving short cuts and huge profits follow all contractors regardless of . Not to support shoddy work by quacks; we all hate quacks, I personally can’t stand non-standard work
Usually, contractors go to major losses redoing minor and major works, meeting contractual requirements after major economic dumps and even in doing extra unplanned shifts to meet deadlines for changes in design.
Harassment does not only come during the life of projects but also in their normal working. Regulatory bodies such as NCA, NEMA, city council are a nightmare for the contractor; sends them to hiding literally and figuratively
Let’s talk of NCA
NCA is doing great work in regulating construction and ensuring professionalism in constructions. Their continuous training offered to masons, other professional construction workers and contractors is a big step in the right direction. NCA may be not wrong in implementing their policies and regulations but their communication leaves an open room for improvement. Their lack of a good communication strategy with the contractors has resulted in de-registration of contractors and inability to qualify for many contractors’ annual licenses. For instance, NCA requires all contractors to attend a certain number of trainings so as to qualify for renewal of their licenses. Without good communication on the schedules of these trainings in advance missed trainings and sometimes are an inconvenience in terms of logistics result. Increased advertisement of trainings and other NCA activities on TV, Radio and other social media would be a step in a better direction. Red tape and delayed responses during the registration application stage also discourage many potential contractors.
Take the counties,
Contractors go even years without payment. County projects being huge projects require ingress of huge amounts of dough; the small time contractors are usually left stony-broke after this. Holding their money captive for years is tantamount to taking away their livelihood. Isnt there a part of the contract that binds the government to make payments upon given milestones?
Almost all contractors aim to please their client so as to get recommendations and more work; who then would think to do work of low quality?
Let us stop viewing the contractor as the enemy. We build them; they will definitely grow to do work meeting international standards and then they can win these big tenders then we won’t have to Politicize our projects