Ministry of Works and Housing is in the process of validating an audit report put together by the Ghana Institution of Surveyors on the controversial affordable housing project at Saglemi within the Ningo Prampram District in the Greater Accra Region.
According to the sector minister, Francis Asenso-Boakye, the validation is being done by Architectural and Engineering Services Limited, an agency under his ministry.
The Ghana Institution of Surveyors report commissioned by the former sector minister Mr. Atta Kyea raised concerns about the decision to revise the number of housing units from 5,000 to 1,502.
It also made some corruption allegations which are matters of investigation by the police.
However, the exercise commissioned by Mr. Asenso-Boakye seeks to validate the issues raised in the first report including the $32 million required to complete the project.
Mr. Asenso-Boakye in announcing the validation exercise said the Attorney General had recommended for the issue to be referred to the Criminal Investigations Department of Police for further probe.
“The Ministry tasked the Ghana Institution of Surveyors to conduct a cost and technical audit of the contract executed by the contractors in the context of the variety of agreements and commitments made by the parties to the project. Upon completion of the audit, the Ghana Institution of Surveyors estimated that an approximate amount of US$32 million would be needed to complete the project. The Ghana Institution of Surveyors identified several unmet activities that were the responsibility of the Contractor, and a press conference was held to this effect.”
“Based on the foregoing, and in view of the absence of the critical primary infrastructure, the Ministry sort the advice of the Attorney General who subsequently recommended for the issue to be referred to the Police CID for criminal investigation. However, having understood the complexity of the issues surrounding this project, upon assumption of office as the sector Minister for Works and Housing, I directed the Architectural and Engineering Services Limited, an agency under my Ministry, to validate the report of the Ghana Institution of Surveyors and advice accordingly.”
The Minister also said the Saglemi housing project is in its current poor state due to corruption and lack of proper planning by politicians.
According to him, the current challenges could have been avoided if a National Housing Authority which his ministry is proposing as a solution to the many challenges facing affordable housing projects initiated by the state is in place.
“In doing all that we intend to do, we also believe that there is a huge institutional gap in housing deliberation in this country. I don’t believe in putting housing development in the hands of politicians because I believe that it’s a technical job. The reason why you don’t put housing projects in the hands of politicians is to ensure that we can ensure continuity in addressing housing problems. If you are not lucky and find an unscrupulous politician in office, the end result is what we have at Saglemi.”
“Project failure is what you will experience, and it will not be properly thought through and the implementation will not go well and corruption will be the order of the day. That is all Saglemi is all about.”