Business News of Wednesday, 26 September 2018
Deputy Works and Housing Minister, Freda Prempeh, has said the agreement between the government of Ghana and the United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS) for the construction of 100,000 affordable houses in Ghana is a “dream come true.”
The UNOPS is fully funding the $5 billion project with the government of Ghana only providing the land.
“This housing deal is a dream come true, I’ve been following up with their local partners in the United Nations office for a long time. One of our mandates is to ensure that we provide affordable houses for the good people of Ghana.
“They’re going to sink a whopping sum of $5 billion into this housing project. Government is not going to pay a dime on it, they are going to pre-finance the project. Our part of the deal is only to provide land and land acquisition in Ghana is quite a challenge, and as a ministry, we’ve taken it upon ourselves to acquire land so that our investors would not find any difficulties securing lands for this project,” she told Class91.3FM’s Executive Breakfast Show host Moro Awudu all the way in the United States of America (USA) after the agreement was signed.
The project, according to the minister, “Is going to create a lot of direct and indirect jobs, transfer technology because they want to set up their machinery in Ghana because we want to move away from brick and tile – the normal traditional way of building – to incorporating some new technology into the housing industry.”
Executive Director and UN Under-Secretary-General, Grete Feremo said the reason UNOPS chose Ghana was that the country has become a shining star in Africa and also showing strong signs of economic growth and prosperity.
He said Ghana has enjoyed political stability in the sub-region, hence has made the country an attractive investment destination and for that reason UNOPS wants to invest in the real estate sector in the country.
President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, who witnessed the signing of the agreement, thanked the UN team for the initiative and stated that the huge housing deficit in Ghana was of grave concern to him.
He said a country like Ghana with a housing deficit of over one million, was unacceptable, hence any initiative that will seek to reduce the deficit was welcome.
Nana Akufo-Addo assured the UNOPS team that his government will do everything possible to support the initiative for it to come to fruition.
He encouraged UNOPS to expedite action on the project, adding that affordable housing must live up to its true meaning so that ordinary Ghanaians can afford it.