General News of Saturday, 13 October 2018
A former Deputy Minister of Works and Housing, Samson Ahi, has said the Minister of Works and Housing, Samuel Atta Akyea, is engaging in needless falsehood concerning the $200 million Saglemi Housing Project.
According to him, “The Minister is just trying to engage in propaganda”, adding that: “There is a report by the consultant [for the project] accounting for all what went on with regards to the execution of the project and they [New Patriotic Party government] have been talking about this [as] ‘white elephant’ since they came to office”.
Mr Ahi, who spoke in an interview with Valentina Ofori-Afriyie on Class 91.3FM’s 505 news programme on Friday, 12 October 2018, was responding to a recent comment by Mr Akyea that the Economic and Organised Crime Office (EOCO) and the Attorney General must probe the handlers of the project under the past Mahama administration since there was misappropriation of funds.
Mr Akyea said: “I can assure you that there is a challenge in terms of how the monies were applied to the project” – matters that he believes the Attorney-General and EOCO “should investigate”.
According to Mr Akyea, until basic utilities are provided, the completed units cannot be occupied and put to use.
“They do not have the requisite infrastructure and amenities for people to go and inhabit the place. They do not have water facilities, they do not have decent drainage systems and, therefore, the monies intended for the project have been used for this white elephant we are seeing”.
Mr Akyea was of the opinion that the government will need to get “credible people to complete the structures and then when we have amenities like water, electricity and sewage systems, people could go over there”.
However, Mr Ahi insists that the Mahama administration completed 1,024 of the 5,000 low-cost houses contrary to claims by the Housing Ministry that only 442 have been completed.
In 2016, former President John Dramani Mahama commissioned the first phase of the project to complete 1,500 of 5,000 housing units at Saglemi, near Tsopoli in the Ningo-Prampram District in the Great Accra Region.
Apart from the 1,024, which Mr Ahi claimed were completed, he said 388 others were “partially completed” with “external works done” but were “left with interior works” to be done, while a few others are at various levels.