Retired public servants and other unauthorized persons occupying government bungalows have been cautioned to vacate their residence or face the wrath of the law.
Freda Prempeh, Deputy Works and Housing Minister, who gave the warning yesterday, also cautioned public sector workers living legitimately in state properties but not paying rent to do so or face possible ejection as well.
She expressed worry about the manner Ghanaians abuse government houses, saying, “There are about five or six categories of people who have decided to do their own thing with government properties. One is people who have been on retirement for so many years – sometimes about five to six years – and are still living in government properties and are not paying anything to government.”
She added that the other category was those on retirement but had in turn given the apartment out to their nieces, their nephews, their friends and colleagues.
“Some too have even left the apartment and abandoned it and nobody is even living there and there are some people living in government bungalows that we don’t even have their data in the office. Those that we have their names on our data base, their data are not on that of the Controller and Accountant General so they don’t pay anything to the government,” the deputy Minister said in a radio interview.
She disclosed that with more than 1000 property in Accra alone with each person paying GHS100 per month, the government should be able to raise some more money to put up more affordable houses for the people.
“But people are not paying and doing their own thing,” she bemoaned.
According to Mrs Prempeh, a week ago, an ultimatum given to some occupants to pay their rents yielded an amount of GHC850, 000.
“A week ago, I wrote letters to some of the occupants, and people trooped to the office and to the Bank of Ghana to pay their rent and I raised GHS85, 000 because I gave them 24hours that if you don’t pay your rent, I will evict you.”
She added, “Let me say again that we haven’t stopped our exercise. We are coming out with the police next week. If you’ve not paid your rent, if you are not authorised to live in a government bungalow make sure that you pack out.”
Last week, the State Housing Company announced it had embarked on a nationwide exercise to develop and regenerate lands and estates belonging to the company.
According to a statement issued by Gordon Asare Bediako, the newly appointed Media Relations Officer, the company would resort to every available legal means, including comprehensive demolitions, to reclaim company lands.
“We take this opportunity, once again, to commend the security agencies, especially the Military and Police Service, for helping SHC to reclaim and protect State lands,” the statement added.
Mr Asare Bediako, accordingly, directed all persons who have encroached parcels of land belonging to the State to get in touch with the office of the company “immediately.”