General News of Thursday, 22 November 2018
The Ranking Member on Parliament’s Government Assurances Committee, Emmanuel Bedzrah, has questioned the commitment of the government to improving the country’s housing infrastructure.
Contributing to the 2019 budget debate, he said the Ministry of Works and Housing has shown little results under the Akufo-Addo administration.
Mr. Bedzrah partly blamed this on the allocation of resources to the Ministry.
“How do you expect the infrastructure ministry to do? All goes into consumption. So my friend goes to the office, he sits down, he doesn’t do any work. That is why I am advocating that the Ministry of Works and Housing should be closed down because there is no work there for him to do.”
“If we want this nation to grow; if we want the economy to grow then let us allocate more funds to the infrastructure ministries for them to grow.”
Similarly, in 2017, Members of Parliament expressed concern with the financial constraints at the Works and Housing Ministry.
The budgetary allocation for the Ministry in the 2018 budget, was noted to be less than half of the funds the Ministry actually required.
At the time, the Ministry owed contractors to the tune of GHc 1 billion, but the entire allocation for the ministry was GHc 91 million.
Responding to Mr. Bedzrah in Parliament, the Minister of Works and Housing, Samuel Atta Akyea, said the government has put in place the right set of policies to transform his sector.
He noted government’s new plan for the housing sector saying “it is necessary to intervene with the pension fund and rake in good money to do mortgages.”
“This budget with all the good sense of running this economy is going to create a stronger economy for jobs and prosperity,” he added.
The government released GHc40 million for the pilot phase of the housing project that will leverage additional private sector funds of GHc 40 million from pensions, insurance and collective investment schemes through selected commercial banks.
The government has also committed to a GHc 1 billion mortgage and housing finance fund, which will be seeded with a minimum of GHc 100m every fiscal year, over the next 5 years, according to the 2019 budget.
The government also projects that 4,100 of 5,000 homes under the Saglemi Housing project will be completed in 2019.