The Minister for Works and Housing, Hon. Atta Akyea has made a striking revelation that the NDC had embezzled $114 million in the Saglime Housing project.
According to him, the true value of the work done by the contractor amounted to $64 million however, the total payment made was $179 million. This means $114 million is not accounted for.
He made this revelation whilst speaking on the PM Express on an Accra-based TV station on the eve of November 11, 2020.
“The Ghana institute of surveyors had come up with a report showing that what is on the ground measured against the money received 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 $179m million. It is stated clearly that the total work on the ground is $ 64 million. The difference is what gives you the $114 million I’m talking about. At the end of the day, the quantity surveyors can tell you the cost involved even in a single wall.
“I want to insist that every government is to continue, article 35 makes it very clear that the government is to continue. The NDC government delivered 5,000 housing units using the $2 million and the houses are sold. That’s why they are telling you that they can only do 5,000 because that’s is what they attempted and they messed up”.
According to him, once payment is made, then there should be an individual responsible for signing the documents. He, therefore, pointed out that, the contractor and then minister in charge of Works and Housing should be the possible suspects to be interrogated as far as the embezzlement of the Funds is concerned.
He pointed out that the minister was invited earlier to answer questions on the Saglime Housing Projects. And so, the NPP has left the investigations in the hands of the institutions responsible for that. He noted that once they are done with their investigations, the necessary actions will be taken.
It can be recalled that Hon. Minister promised to complete the Saglime Housing project by the end of December 2020. However, the Works and Housing Minister stated that the project cannot be completed as planned because it was not easy to go through that kind of project requiring lots of procedures within a short time.
“I have to apologize but I had to do what was scientific. At the end of the day if you try to come up with something cheap to embarrass NDC, then you are not been professional”.
He however stated that the NPP cannot give a timeline for the completion of the project but will leave it in the hands of the contractors to complete what has to be done and the remaining parts will have to go to parliament again for approval.
However, a ranking member of the works and housing committee of parliament and the MP for HO West, Hon. Emmanuel Kwasi Bedzrah stated that even though the Ghana Institute of Quantity Surveyors is a credible institution, the work has been done by individuals hence the need to verify the documents presented by the Hon Minister.
“It surprised me. Well from what we know and what we all agreed, the housing delivery so far should be more than this and if the institution is saying this is what has been delivered then somebody has to challenge. Anybody at all can produce this”.
Hon. Atta Akyea stated that the NPP will put up 200,000 housing units a year to help bridge the huge housing deficit in the country. This means that in the next four years, the NPP is expected to deliver 800,000 housing units given a second chance in the upcoming election. He pointed out that figures from the Ghana Statistical Service put the current housing deficit in Ghana at 2 million.
Hon. Bedzrah however, disagrees with the Hon. Minister stating that the NPP has no credibility in terms of delivering their promises. He stated that the NDC will deliver between 20,000 to 30,000 housing units when voted into power.
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