April 24, 2024

Minister for Works and Housing Mr Francis Asenso-Boakye has vehemently dismissed claims by former President John Dramani Mahama regarding the Saglemi housing project.

Mr. Mahama had accused President Nana Akufo-Addo’s government of abandoning the $200 million Saglemi housing project his administration initiated.

However, Mr. Asenso-Boakye responded that the Mahama administration after spending $200 million meant for 5,000 housing units, on only 1,500, a staggering amount of US$114 million was still needed to make the houses habitable.

The project has since been a subject of criminal prosecution at the High Court.

“Approximately US$46 million is needed for off-site infrastructure development, covering essential amenities such as water, electricity, drainage works, among others.

“Moreover, an additional US$68 million is required to complete on-site works, which include the repair and completion of the existing units, sewerage system, civic amenities, among others. “This brings the total additional costs to a staggering US$114 million, on top of the funds already spent”, the Works and Housing Minister pointed out.

He gave the assurance that private sector partners are being sought to complete the Houses, therefore dismissing claims by former president Mahama that government has abandoned the project.

Mr. Asenso-Boakye who is also the Member of Parliament (MP) for Bantama in the Ashanti Region rebuffed Mr. Mahama’s claims in an interview with Accra-based Okay FM yesterday.

He insisted that the government remains fully committed to completing the Saglemi project.

Mr. Asenso-Boakye reiterated that both President Nana Akufo-Addo and himself had reiterated this commitment during the launch of a new housing project in Pokuase.

Government, he reiterated, is actively taking necessary steps to ensure the revival and completion of the project through partnership with the private sector.

This decision, he further indicated, was made after careful consideration and extensive consultations, with Cabinet convening three times to review the project’s complexities and its financial challenges.

“The conclusion reached was that private sector participation would offer the most viable approach to ensure the project’s successful completion,” he stressed.

Court case

In light of the ongoing court case surrounding the Saglemi project, Mr. Asenso-Boakye disclosed that he had taken proactive steps to continue the Saglemi project.

He had sought approval from the Attorney General’s office, which was granted, allowing the government to proceed with the necessary actions to ensure the project’s eventual completion.

This demonstrated the administration’s unwavering dedication to delivering on its promise reviving the Saglemi housing project.

New housing project

Touching on the decision to initiate the new housing project in Pokuase, Mr. Asenso-Boakye clarified that it is part of a fresh strategy involving collaboration with the private sector for housing development.

He said drawing inspiration from successful models in other African countries, the government aims to work alongside private sector entities in constructing houses for citizens.

This approach, according to him, apart from ensuring cost-effectiveness, also capitalizes on the expertise and experience of private sector partners.

“Since becoming Minister, we have studied the approach adopted by many other African countries, including South Africa, Morocco, Côte d’Ivoire, Kenya, among others, where the government collaborates with the private sector in developing houses for the citizens. This not only saves the government a significant amount of financial stress but also allows us to benefit from the expertise and experience of the private sector,” he added.

Mr. Asenso-Boakye has therefore called on all politicians to rise above partisan interests and focus on the national interest, while providing affordable and habitable housing for Ghanaians.

 

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