EDITORIAL: Vetting of contractors long overdue

The NCA will scrutinise all contractors.
The NCA will scrutinise all contractors to ensure only those with enough qualified technical staff are registered. PHOTO/FILE
The move by the National Construction Authority to register and licence afresh all contractors seeking to undertake any construction work in Kenya is long overdue.

The NCA has said it will thoroughly scrutinise all contractors to ensure only those with enough qualified technical staff are registered.

This is good news to many Kenyans who were concerned about the rising incidents of collapse of buildings, bridges and incomplete projects.

The country has enjoyed a construction boom in the past five years, which has led to quacks taking up construction work in a bid to make a quick shilling. This has seen many lives being lost after buildings built unprofessionally collapse.

Just last month, a five-story building that was under construction crumbled down in Kisumu killing seven people and injuring ten others.

NCA data shows that only 20 per cent of the estimated 10,000 contractors in Kenya are genuine – meaning the local construction industry is largely driven by quacks.

We urge the Authority to hasten the exercise across the country since it is totally unacceptable that 50 years after independence Kenya has no register of contractors.

According to NCA, contractors will pay registration fees of between Sh10,000 and Sh50,000 depending on their category, while annual practice licence renewal will cost between Sh5,000 and Sh10,000.

Foreign contractors will pay registration fee of Sh100,000 for listing and will be restricted to categories of projects they win.

Under the new law, at least one director or partner of a company applying for registration must hold technical qualifications, skills and experience.

Anybody found undertaking construction works without a valid registration certificate will pay a fine of Sh1 million, a three-year jail term or both.

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