Founding President of IMANI Centre for Policy and Education, Franklin Cudjoe, says no government should be involved in the construction and procurement processes for affordable housing projects.
According to him, government’s only role in providing affordable housing should be in the provision of serviced lands to private real estate developers in the business of constructing affordable housing.
He said when governments take on the role of procuring materials for, and constructing, affordable housing projects; it only creates viable opportunity for graft.
Speaking on JoyNews’ PM Express, he said, “I mean, procurement is the biggest opportunity in this town that’s why I do not really want any government appointee who is a Housing Minister to even think of the idea of building affordable housing. That thing should cease.
“Whatever money government wants to spend, use it, open up the country, service lands, let the likes of Patrick and his friends come and compete. And they’ve done it before. There are just too many examples here, it can be done.”
He further bemoaned the failure of successive governments to adopt technology to efficiently deploy affordable housing in the country.
“I mean, I’m shocked from 1998 to 2001 when I learnt land economy, I remember my building technology teachers were telling us how adaptive technology could be used to deploy affordable housing.
“Since we left I haven’t seen any of those technologies deployed, which tells you that when government talks about the marriage between industry and academia sometimes it’s just a fluke, really.
“And I think we should start looking into those opportunities and have the likes of entrepreneurs like Patrick and co. invest in those types of thinking and deliver affordable housing. Anything that falls short of government doing what we’re suggesting is pure opportunity for graft,” he said.
His comment was a contribution to discussions surrounding the abandoned Saglemi Housing project.
The Saglemi Housing Project has been at the centre of controversy since the ruling government discovered that there were missing key contract documents and those available had various inconsistencies.
The government feels there appears to have been a misappropriation of funds in the project, resulting in shoddy work.
Currently, two of former President Mahama appointees, together with a former Chief Director of the Water Resources, Works and Housing Ministry, Alhaji Ziblim Yakubu, Executive Chairman of Construtora OAS Ghana Limited, Andrew Clocanas, and Majority Shareholder of Ridge Management Solutions DWC-LLC, Nouvi Tetteh Angelo have been charged for causing financial loss to the state. https://338c9b850de80e4dee483af33a1fa736.safeframe.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-40/html/container.html
The five accused persons are collectively facing 52 counts of criminal offences, including willfully causing financial loss to the State, and intentionally misapplying public property.
In the latest development, the government has decided to sell the Housing development to a private developer.
The Minister for Works and Housing, Francis Asenso-Boakye, says the decision was taken after assessment and the necessary consultations.
However, the Minority have served notice to potential buyers that they may lose their investment should they go ahead with the purchase. They vehemently oppose the sale of the development.