Govt To Complete Saglemi Housing Project

THE MINISTER for Works and Housing, Francis Asenso-Boakye has given the strongest signal that government is committed to completing the abandoned 1,500 units of the controversial Saglemi affordable housing project.

According to the minister, government is leaving nothing to chances to find funds to complete the structure for habitation by Ghanaians soon.
Former President John Dramani Mahama administration started the 5,000 unit affordable housing project in 2012.
However, the project stalled over allegations of misappropriation of funds.

The project has since been characterised with controversy as the government accused the Mahama government of supervising a corrupt deal that shortchanged the public purse–allegations appointees in the Mahama administration denied.

Prior to that, somewhere in May 2019, the Attorney General and Minister of Justice recommended to the Works and Housing Ministry to refer the project to the appropriate authorities for criminal investigations and prosecution.

The original contract, according to the AG signed under the NDC administration was supposed to deliver some 5,000 affordable housing units to Ghanaians at the cost of $200 million. However, the contract was revised to deliver 1,502 affordable houses at the same cost of $200 million.

Information and document reportedly exposed the allegations of corruption with the issue referred to appopriate investigative bodies for criminal prosecution after auditing the work done by the Brazilian contractor.

However, speaking after a tour of the housing site in the Ningo-Pramrpam District of the Greater Accra Region on Wednesday to ascertain some of the major projects under the ministry, the newly appointed minister, Mr Asenso Boakye, said that his outfit is expecting a performance review on the Saglemi Housing Project within two months; thus by the end of March 2020 for the completion of the audit.

According to him, the Ministry has taken steps to ensure the early completion of the project in the interest of the citizenry.

He revealed that some potential developers who have submitted financial arrangements are being considered.

“First of all, I want to send a signal that government is committed to continue with project to see to it completion regardless of the challenges. I will engage the technical people and the investors who have showed interest in the project.”

He believes that although some work has been done at the site but believes that more works needed to be done before habitation.

The minister acknowledges that the project was a great idea but have problem with the conception, design and how the implementation were done.

“I think some work has been done but a lot more has to be done. We’ve invested close to $200 million into this project and this is where we are. The project I believe was a great idea but the conception, design and implementation did not go well at all and that is why we have find ourselves in this situation.
“Like I said, I am committed to put the past behind us and chart a new way forward because with over 1,000 housing units are completed then it is a big step forward tackling the housing deficit.

The Minister declined commenting on the matters of scope of work done which is under criminal investigation but stated that government is going to find an innovative way to find funds to complete the project.

In total 636 housing units have been fully completed and could be occupied if the necessary infrastructure and services are provided on site. The remaining 388 housing units are at various stages of completion.

The first phase, the scope of works included the construction of 1,502 housing units with infrastructure and layout works. This indicated a total reduction of housing units by 3,498 from the initial contract of 5000 units.

The actual distribution of the proposed houses and apartments were always meant to consist of 1-bedroom, 2-bedroom, 3-bedroom and 4-bedroom units, categorized as Social Housing, Affordable, Mid-range and Premium.

Source: Vincent Kubi, Saglemi |Daily Guide Network

leave a reply