The Minority has warned any private investor who intends to buy the SaglemiHousing Project if government finally puts it up for sale to stay off.
It said any developer who would venture into that deal would be doing so at their own risk because should the National Democratic Congress (NDC) win the 2024 election, such an agreement would be terminated.
“We are very sure that the NDC will form the next government in 2025 and so any private developer that would buy this facility, it would be taken away from him because it should remain affordable and must go to workers of Ghana,” Ranking Member on the Works and Housing Committee, Vincent Oppong Asamoah, said.
He issued this caution when he briefed the media at the project site in Saglemi yesterday after touring the project with other minority members.
The tour follows indications given by the Works and Housing Minister, Francis Asenso-Boakye, that government was exploring the option of selling the 1,506 housing units to a private developer.
“Government has decided to explore the possibility of selling the Saglemi Housing Project, covering the 1,506 housing units, at the current value to a private sector entity to complete and sell the housing units to the public, at no further cost to the State,” Mr Asenso-Boakye told a press conference in Accra a fortnight ago.
In furtherance of the above, and to facilitate the processes, he said a Technical Working Team has been set-up, comprising professionals and experts to oversee and spearhead all engagements required for the completion of the project to ensure transparency and accountability.
But MrAsamoah, MP, Dormaa West said the intention by government was to transfer the housing units to their cronies.
When the team visited the site located in the Ningo-Prampram Municipality, the Ghanaian Times observed that the rooms were ransacked with the fittings removed.
The kitchen wares were rusting away, window louvres, electrical wires, sockets, electrical meters were all removed, burglar proofs broken with stained floor tiles.
“If you look at the thievery that has happened here, it tells you that it is a deliberate attempt to sell the project to their cronies cheaply. Parliament will compel government to look for funding to complete this project,” he vowed.
He said when the NDC inherited two housing projects from the John Agyekum Kufuor regime in 2009 even at a completion rate lower than the Saglemi one which is about 90 per cent complete on the average, it did not sell it out to the private sector but rather partnered the Social Security and National Insurance Trust to complete it.
“We think this project is still valuable and the intended purpose was to make the houses affordable for the workers of Ghana through the Ghana Home Loans by way of mortgage. Any attempt to sell it out to a private developer would not be tolerated and any private developer who buys it does so at his or her own risk,” he stressed.
The Saglemi project became a contentious one when the government dragged former Works and Housing Ministers, Collins Dauda and DrKwaku Agyeman-Mensah, to court accusing them of wilfully causing financial loss to the state
The government alleged that although US$196.43 million had been spent on the project and the contractor paid US$179.9 million, investigations revealed that the cost of works executed on site was US$64.98 million.
“Investigations further revealed that only 668 housing units were completed by the contractor. These are, however, not habitable. Not a single house under the project has been sold and the facility remains unpaid, resulting in huge financial loss to the Republic of Ghana,” the A-G said in a suit it filed at the High Court.
FROM JULIUS YAO PETETSI, SAGLEMI