General News of Saturday, 13 October 2018
The Minister for Works and Housing, Samuel Atta-Akyea, has invited the Attorney General to look into the $180 million 5,000 units affordable housing project, by the John Mahama government.
According to him, there appears to have been a misappropriation of funds in the project, resulting in shoddy work.
He said the housing units lacked essential amenities such as water, electricity and drainage systems.
“The Seglemi structure that we see over there is a huge trouble. If we should go into why it has not been inhabited we will go into crisis. I can assure you there is a challenge in terms of how the monies were faithfully applied to the project, matters that the Attorney-General would have to look at and EOCO to investigate,” he said.
The first phase of the project, with 1,500 housing units, which was commissioned by John Mahama in 2016 have been left unused for more than a year now.
Atta-Akyea told the media on Friday at an event that, “They [the building] do not have the requisite infrastructure and amenities for people to go and inhabit the place. They do not have water facilities and decent drainage systems, and therefore the money intended for the project has been spirited away with this kind of white elephant we are seeing.”
The project, which was intended to reduce the country’s massive housing deficit is seated on a 300-acre land with one to three bedroom apartments for low-income earners.
The Housing Minister indicated that a lot more work has to be done at the site to make the houses habitable.
“We need to bring the proceedings to a close, get credible people to complete the structures and when we have the amenities like water, electricity and sewerage systems people could go over and inhabit it,” he said.
We don’t have the original project documents
A Deputy Minister of Works and Housing, Freda Prempeh in March 2018 revealed that the Mahama administration had failed to present to the current government with the original documents covering the project.
“There are conflicting documents. We have not even sighted the original contract documents. I have personally followed up to other agencies to get some more information surrounding the project.”
She said the Ministry was still investigating “to find out exactly what has gone on, how much money has been paid, why the money was paid.”
“… I find it difficult to accept the fact that you sign a contract and after two or three months, you give the contractor $46 million and by the end of 2014, they had been given $92 million. As I speak with you, they have taken 99.11 percent of the total amount so certain questions need to be answered.”
She indicated that the government was “not going to abandon the project.”