Editor of the Insight newspaper, Kwesi Pratt Jnr., believes there is something fundamentally wrong with the STX Housing deal.
The construction of some 30,000 Housing Units by the Korean construction and engineering group, STX, which was expected to begin early this year, seems to be in a limbo as government has not been able to secure the US$1.5 billion needed to kick start the project. The entire project which is valued at ten billion dollars ($10bn) involves the construction of 200,000 homes; 30 thousand of which will accommodate personnel of the security forces whilst the remaining would be put up on the market for Ghanaians to acquire through a mortgage facility spread over 15 years.
Minister for Water Resources, Works and Housing, Alban Sumana Kinsford Bagbin, had forecasted that “physical houses will be seen sprawling at the various sites by July”, but concerns have been raised that not even a single block has been laid on the site for the STX Housing Project to take off, whiles the July deadline has also elapsed.
Speaking on Metro TV’s Good Morning Ghana programme, the seasoned journalist openly expressed fears that he suspects something wrong with the deal, and therefore called on the government to boldly come out and tell Ghanaians the truth behind the delay in implementing the project.
“…I have a strong suspicion that something has gone wrong with the STX deal. Clearly there is some problem with the deal and I think it is important that the government gives us facts of what is happening to the project. They gave us July but at the end of July nothing has come out. There are still indications that all is not well and I think it is important to come out with a true statement of what is going on. If the government comes out and tells us the truth, I think Ghanaians will understand…,” he said.
According to him, during the commencement of any massive infrastructural project, a lot of things are likely to go wrong. It is for this reason, he said, that the government should explain what is not right with the project instead of being evasive even when it is obvious that they (government) are covering up something.
“I don’t know what the reasons are but I think whatever it is, they should come out and say it. There are several factors that will hinder a project and clearly, people can see that all is not well with the project. It will do Ghanaians good if the government comes out to say it since it is not good to be in the dark for so long…,” he reiterated.
Meanwhile, Frances Assiam, a member of the opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP) and the party’s Parliamentary candidate for the Adenta seat has laid blame at the doorstep of the Parliamentary Committee on Works and Housing for all the delays that have occasioned the STX deal. To her, if the Committee had subjected the document and the contract to critical scrutiny, and had listened to the concerns expressed by the Minority, all of these would have been forestalled.
‘The contract is going back and forth and it is not doing Ghanaians any good,’ she said on Metro TV.
Source: Rebecca Quaye/Peacefmonline.com
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