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General News Mon, 12 Jul 2010

What GREDA Told the Joint Parliamentary Committee

Politically-motivated opponents of the STX Korea affordable housing agreement have lost the debate on the substance of the deal, so they have consequently changed their attention from discussing the merits of the contract, to attacking the judgement of the Joint Parliamentary Committee which approved the deal and procedurally tabled it before the entire House for approval.

Unfortunately, the losers of this great debate have deliberately refused to give full disclosure to the contents of the Committee’s report, and are however raining insults on the members for agreeing to the package.

This same group of politically-blinded debaters are questioning the logic in GREDA deciding to withdraw its petition originally meant to kick-against the passage of the STX Korea deal.

Left in the cold by GREDA, the NPP’s sympathetic-press and spokespersons have suggested that death threats and threats to deny GREDA members access to government contracts, were the main reasons that made GREDA to review its position.

On Thursday and Friday, some of such elements boldly stated that “fat-brown envelopes containing thousands of dollars” had changed hands, thus resulting in the GREDA U-turn and the Joint Committee’s approval.

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The Informer therefore finds it appropriate to publish the report of the Joint Parliamentary Committee on Finance and Works and Housing, in order to help readers make intelligent decisions on the likely passage of the STX deal and thereby expose the lies and deceits of opponents of the government.

REPORT OF THE JOINT COMMITTEE ON FINANCE AND WORKS AND HOUSING ON A COMPLAINT RECEIVED FROM GHANA REAL ESTATE DEVELOPERS ASSOCIATION (GREDA) IN RESPECT OF THE SUPPLIER’S CREDIT FINANCING AGREEMENT BETWEEN THE GOVERNMENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF GHANA AND STX ENGINEERING AND CONSTRUCTION GHANA LIMITED FOR AN AMOUNT OF $1,525,443,468.00 FOR THE CONSTRUCTION OF 30,000 HOUSING UNITS UNDER THE SECURITY SERVICES HOUSING PROJECT

4.0 OBSERVATIONS

4.1 Representatives of GREDA led by its President delivered a presentation to the Committee. They indicated that Ghana has a huge housing deficit of about 1 million. With STX proposing to build 30,000 housing units for the security services, there will still be a huge housing gap to bridge. GREDA is therefore developing a proposal to government to build 5,000 housing units per year over a period of five years to help reduce the housing deficit.

The President of GREDA indicated that the above proposal is still being developed and will be submitted to Government when finalized and hoped that it would be considered alongside the STX Agreement.

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4.2 Responding to a question as to whether the proposal being developed is an alternative to the STX deal, the representatives of GREDA explained that Ghana’s housing deficit as stated earlier is huge thus, the proposal is to complement the STX deal to help bridge the housing deficit gap.

4.3 Members enquired from the representatives of GREDA whether prior to the STX deal they had ever presented a proposal to government to build houses. The representatives of GREDA indicated that they had not.

4.4 In response to the concerns of Members as to whether GREDA still stands by the issues raised in the complaint, the representatives of GREDA explained that at the time the complaint was presented, the issues stated therein represented their position. However, subsequent discussions with the Minister for Water Resources, Works and Housing and further information received from the Ministry of Water Resources Works and Housing have resulted in a change in their initial stand on the STX Agreement.

4.5. The Minister of Water Resources, Works and Housing assured the Committee and the representatives of GREDA that Government will be ready to consider any proposal from GREDA aimed at reducing the housing deficit.

5.0 CONCLUSIONS

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The Committee, after carefully considering the complaint and submissions made by the representatives of GREDA, came to the conclusion that GREDA no longer stands by its initial position on the STX deal.

The Committee therefore recommends that the Finance Committee goes ahead with the process for the consideration of the STX Agreement.

Respectfully submitted.

5TH JULY, 2010

Source: The Informer