Minister for Works and Housing, Francis Asenso-Boakye, has disclosed that his outfit has advised some heads of state institutions to begin the implementation of government’s policy on building with local raw materials.
According to him, this will increase job opportunities for Ghanaians and also reduce the cost of building in the country.
Mr. Asenso-Boakye made this revelation after inspecting works of Nelplast Limited, manufacturers of plastic bricks for building.
Commenting on this, the sector minister assured the company of government’s support. Additionally, he explained that government will ensure sufficient jobs in the sector and also affordable construction.
This, he believes, will ensure that the average Ghanaian can acquire a home for living.
“I have had the opportunity to engage the Minister for Education and actually written to him formally; and he has incorporated the use of local burnt bricks into the government schools that are going to be built. I have done same with the Minister for Health so that the hospitals, clinics and other health facilities can have these local materials.”
On his part, the Founder of Nelplast Limited, Nelson Boateng, requested the Housing Minister to include his company in the affordable housing projects. This, he explained, will be government’s way of supporting his business. The manufacturing project is providing employment to more than 300 artisans.
“All that we are asking for is government to award us some affordable housing projects; so that we can work and change the face of this company”.
Encourage locally-produced building materials
Earlier in May this year, the Minister for Housing, disclosed that government is adopting initiatives to encourage use of locally-produced building materials. According to him, it will be used in the construction of public and private facilities.
Mr. Asenso-Boakye underscored government’s commitment to providing affordable housing to Ghanaians. To achieve this, he maintained that the use of locally-produced raw materials are less expensive.
Sharing the Ministry’s blueprint to achieving this, the Housing Minister noted that plans are underway to ensure there’s mass production of these materials.
“We intend to encourage their use and to create effective demand for them. Once we are able to achieve that; a lot of people will come into the production, and we will be able to produce in mass quantities. That is the only way we can make them affordable. As of now, they are not necessarily cheap compared to the blocks. In this age where the cost of cement keeps increasing, we have no option than to resort to these local building materials.”
He further noted that the ministry will make the use of local building materials an integral part of the government’s affordable housing project.
Following this, the Ghana Chamber of Construction Industry prompted government to expedite its intention in enabling mass production of local building raw materials.
According to the Chamber, government must put in place measures to reduce cost of credit, electricity and other essentials. It further revealed that the move will ensure local building materials remains prominent in the country’s construction industry.