The Minister of Works and Housing, Francis Asenso-Boakye, says the government is committed to completing all housing projects started by previous administrations.
He said the government was, consequently, taking the necessary steps to revive the Saglemi Housing Project and others which faced fundamental challenges.
At the sod-cutting ceremony for the Pokuase Housing Project at Pokuase in the Greater Accra Region on Tuesday (August 1, 2023), Mr Asenso-Boakye said the government was focused on building affordable homes for the ordinary Ghanaian.
He said the pursuit of affordable housing in the country by successive governments had encountered significant setbacks, citing a 5,000 housing units project in six different towns under President Kufuor, and the Saglemi Affordable Housing Project, initiated by Presidents Mills and Mahama.
“In 2006, under the leadership of President John Agyekum Kufuor, government launched an Affordable Housing Programme which aimed to construct 5,000 housing units in six different towns over a five-year period,” he said, refering to projects slated for Asokore Mampong in the Ashanti Region, and Borteyman and Kpone in the Greater Accra Region.
“Similarly, in 2012, under the leadership of President John Evans Atta Mills, and later President John Mahama, the NDC government also initiated the Saglemi Affordable Housing Project, with the intention of addressing the country’s housing needs. Regrettably, this project also encountered fundamental challenges, which halted the project due to various factors. Government is taking the necessary steps to revive the project,” he added.
The minister, who is also the Member of Parliament for the Bantama constituency in the Ashanti Region, said “these projects did not progress as expected” because they “failed to consider the entire ecosystem involved in the delivery of housing, such as the availability of land, infrastructure, sustainable funding, building materials, and an inclusive demand-side arrangement”.
“Aside from that, no comprehensive project planning or feasibility studies were conducted to establish the viability of the project before commencement,” he said.
Mr Asenso-Boakye said the Pokuase Housing Project had been taken through the necessary feasibility and viability processes to ensure that it did not face the challenges of the previous ones.
He said in the current project, the government would offer “free unencumbered land and associated infrastructure” to the private sector to construct the housing units at an agreed selling price.
“Unlike the previous efforts, this revised programme stands out as distinct and exceptional in multiple ways. This distinction arises primarily from the valuable insights gained from our past experiences, inspiring our commitment to approach things the right way this time,” he said.
There are about 1,500 housing units, built under the Saglemi housing project, near Tsopoli in the Ningo-Prampram District in the Great Accra Region.
The video below is when the Graphic Online team visited the Saglemi housing project site at Saglemi on Friday, March 9 and Tuesday, March 13, 2018.
The 5000 unit Saglemi Housing project is a public housing project located in Prampram under which the Ghana Home Loans Company was to provide mortgage arrangements for the housing units to be sold to employees.
But just about 1506 housing units have been completed following a variation in the project.
Speaking Tuesday [August 1, 2023] at a sod cutting ceremony for the commencement of the construction of 8,000 units on the 203-acre land in Pokuase under the Revised National Affordable Housing Programme, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo said, ultimately this technical working group on the Saglemi project was to ensure that there is transparency in following through with Cabinet’s directive whilst guaranteeing value for money towards the completion of the project.
President Akufo-Addo gave the assurance that the lessons learned from the Saglemi Housing project had been invaluable in shaping the approach and execution of the new housing Initiative.
Explaining the current state of the Saglemi Project, President Akufo-Addo said government was aware of the delays and setbacks encountered during the execution of the Saglemi project.
He added that the issues about the scope of work and the money expended on the project have been taken to the criminal investigations division of the Ghana Police Service for investigation that had culminated in criminal judicial proceedings.
He noted however that to forestall the project from deteriorating, the Ministry of Works and Housing has actively engaged Cabinet, the Minister of Finance and the Office of the Attorney General on the completion of the project.
President Akufo-Addo said it had been established that in addition to the $198 million already expended on the project, government had to raise additional financing to the tune of $56 million to complete the offsite infrastructure works which included water, electricity and storm drains to mitigate flooding.
He added that further a $68 million was required to complete the buildings and other essential on-site infrastructure works like the waste holding bay, sewage treatment plant and the development of socio, economic and civic infrastructure such as a basic school, a clinic and shops.