In response to allegations made by former President John Dramani Mahama over the Saglemi housing project, the Minister for Works and Housing, Francis Asenso-Boakye, has categorically denied the allegations.
Mr. Mahama claimed that the government of President Nana Akufo-Addo had abandoned the Saglemi housing project that his administration had started and that it was worth 200 million dollars.
On the other hand, Mr. Asenso-Boakye stated that the Mahama administration had spent the $200 million that was intended for 5,000 housing units on just 1,500, and that an astounding amount of US$114 million was still required to make the dwellings habitable.
Since that time, a criminal case regarding the project has been brought before the High Court.
It is estimated that approximately US$46 million will be required to create the off-site infrastructure, which will include necessary conveniences such as water, power, and drainage works, among other things.
In addition, an additional $68 million is needed to finish the on-site works, which includes the repair and completion of the already existing units, as well as the sewerage system and civic facilities, among other things. The Minister of Works and Housing pointed out that this takes the total additional costs to a whopping 114 million US dollars, which is in addition to the money that have already been spent.
The assertions made by former President Mahama that the government has given up on the project were refuted when he gave the assurance that private sector partners are being sought to construct the Houses.
In an interview that took place yesterday on Okay FM in Accra, Mr. Asenso-Boakye, who is also the Member of Parliament (MP) for Bantama in the Ashanti Region, responded negatively to Mr. Mahama's assertions.
He underlined that the administration has not wavered in its dedication to seeing the Saglemi project through to completion.
During the introduction of a brand new home development in Pokuase, both President Nana Akufo-Addo and Mr. Asenso-Boakye reaffirmed their dedication to this cause, as Mr. Asenso-Boakye stated once more.
He reaffirmed that the government is working diligently to take the necessary steps to secure the rebirth of the project and its successful completion by partnering with the private sector.
He went on to say that this decision had been arrived at after careful study and extensive consultations, with the Cabinet meeting three times to discuss the complexities of the project as well as the obstacles it presented financially.
"The conclusion reached was that private sector participation would offer the most viable approach to ensure the project's successful completion," he emphasised.
Mr. Asenso-Boakye announced, in light of the ongoing court battle concerning the Saglemi project, that he had taken proactive actions to continue the Saglemi project. The court case is centred upon the Saglemi project.
He had asked for permission from the Attorney General's office, and it was given. This made it possible for the government to move through with the activities that needed to be taken in order to make sure that the project would eventually be finished.
This exemplified the administration's persistent determination to delivering on its pledge to revive the Saglemi housing project, which the administration had previously made.
New construction housing project
Mr. Asenso-Boakye emphasised that the choice to launch the new housing project in Pokuase was part of an innovative strategy combining partnership with the private sector for the development of housing. He was speaking in reference to the decision to begin the new housing project in Pokuase.
He stated that the government intends to engage alongside private sector firms in the construction of homes for citizens, and that this plan draws inspiration from successful models used in other African countries.
According to him, this method, in addition to ensuring that it is cost-effective, also makes use of the knowledge and experience of private sector partners to maximise its potential.
"Since I took office as Minister, my team and I have conducted research on the housing policy that has been implemented in a number of other African nations, such as South Africa, Morocco, Côte d'Ivoire, and Kenya, amongst others. In these nations, the government works with the private sector to construct housing for its residents. This not only relieves the government of a substantial amount of financial strain, but it also makes it possible for us to take use of the knowledge and experience of the private sector, as he went on to explain.
As a result, Mr. Asenso-Boakye has issued an appeal to all politicians in Ghana, imploring them to put Ghana's national interest ahead of their partisan interests and prioritise the provision of inexpensive and habitable homes for Ghanaians.