Business News of Friday, 6 October 2017
Minority Leader Haruna Iddrisu has suggested that the government uses pension money to build houses for workers at very affordable rates since shelter has become a major challenge for a lot of workers who retire.
Many workers use their meagre salaries on rent and this becomes a bigger problem when they go on retirement so if workers are to be helped, then it would be prudent to use workers’ pension money to build at very affordable prices to enable them own houses and be more productive, he indicated.
“When you have a good place to lay your head, you become very productive,” he said, adding that government could partner the Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT) to launch a social housing scheme for workers.
The Minority leader made the strong argument in a contribution to a statement made by the Minister of Works and Housing on the floor of parliament on Wednesday to commemorate this year’s World Habitat Day, which fell on Monday, October 2 under the theme, “Housing Policies: Affordable Homes.”
“I feel very sad when I see workers struggling to pay for rent and finding it difficult to get places to lay their heads which the government with good policies could have helped to avoid.
According to him, in an African country like Morocco, workers, who go on retirement, do not have problems with accommodation, because the government has built a lot of houses for workers who go on retirement.
He said the government must take the bold initiative to help provide affordable houses for workers in the country to bring some relief to workers, stressing that involving the private sector in the provision of houses for workers would not be ideal since the houses would not be affordable in the long run.
Samuel Atta Akyea, Minister for Works & Housing, making his statement to mark the day, said government was determined to address the housing deficit through partnerships with the private sector.
“The Ministry of Works and Housing is implementing the Affordable Housing Programme aimed at providing adequate, decent affordable housing particularly to the low and middle-income groups,” he said.
He said the government would be establishing the National Housing Fund to help in that direction.
According to the Minister, addressing the housing needs of the poorest and most vulnerable, especially women, youth and those who live in the slums, must be a priority in the developmental agenda of the country.
He said the Ministry, in March last year, under the previous government launched the National Housing Policy as part of reforms and initiatives to ensure sustainable development of the construction industry.
“The National Housing Policy Implementation Plan is at its conclusive stage. The document has undergone stakeholder consultative assessments and contains strategies that will go a long way to solve the myriad of urban housing problems for our people,” the minister said.