The Minister for Works and Housing, Francis Asenso-Boakye, has pledged to complete over a thousand units of the Saglemi Housing project.
Mr. Asenso-Boakye stated that the housing project is a good idea. He, however, said the design and implementation were wrongly executed. As such, investors and engineers on the project will be engaged before government arrives at a completion date for the project.
“A lot has been done but a lot more needs to be done. We have invested close to GHS200 million into this project and this is where we are. I believe the project was a great idea but the conception, the design, the implementation did not go well at all and that is why we have found ourselves in this situation. But I am committed to putting the past behind us and moving forward. So, that we can complete the project of over 1000 housing units.
“The current housing deficit is two million. So, if we are able to complete these housing units, it is a big step towards tackling the housing unit. I’m not a technical person so I don’t know the very details of it, but my task is to find money and find a very innovative way of looking for resources to complete this project”.
1,389 Housing units completed
Meanwhile, Director of Housing at the ministry, Theresa Tuffour has disclosed that a substantial number of housing units have been completed.
“Out of 1,502 they have completed 1,389. 386 are at various stages, 868 have been completed and if our infrastructure is provided, that is, light, water, and the sewage system is done, people can move in and occupy it. And then there are about 139 townhouses that have also been completed”.
The project, commenced under the Mahama administration. A decision by the Akufo-Addo administration to investigate its financial arrangements, however, delayed it.
The former Minister for Works and Housing, Samuel Atta-Akyea, invited the Attorney General to scrutinize the agreements in October 2018.
There were reports that key contract documents were missing or had inconsistencies.
The government feels there appears to have been a misappropriation of funds in the project, resulting in shoddy work.
Saglemi housing funds embezzled
Mr. Atta-Akyea last year revealed that the NDC administration, following an audit report, had embezzled funds for the housing project.
He revealed the Criminal Investigations Department of the police was interrogating members of the NDC for alleged inflation. The NDC, he noted, cannot be entrusted with Ghana’s housing sector.
“The Ghana Institute of Surveyors have come out with a report showing what is on the ground. Measured against the money received will bring out a very huge figure of about $114 million.
“It is stated in black and white that the amount paid to the contractor is $179,904,752.5. It is stated clearly that the total works on the ground is $64 million. The difference is what gives you the $114 million I’m talking about.”