The Ministry of Works and Housing has constituted a technical working committee to guide it in exploring the possibility of selling the Saglemi Affordable Housing project.
The technical working group is made up of experts from the built environment including professional bodies such as the Institute of Planners, Ghana Institute of Engineers, the Ghana Institute of Surveyors, and other organisations such as the Public Procurement Authority, the Ministry of Finance and the Lands Commission.
Last Monday, the first meeting between Ministry and the group was held where their terms of reference were spelt out to them.
Procurement, other issues
In an interview with Graphic Online’s Kwame Asare Boadu ahead of the meeting last Monday, the Minister of Works and Housing, Francis Asenso-Boakye said the group, among other things, was expected to advise the government on procurement processes and other issues relating to the sale of state assets to ensure transparency, accountability and value for money.
He said they would be expected to complete their work and present a report to the ministry in a month.
"This is a very controversial project and as such it is important that any process about its sale must be open and as transparent as possible," he said.
So far, he said no developer had been selected. “We have not engaged anybody, we are now going through the various processes. The government is exploring the possibility of selling the project at the current value so that the proceeds could be used for the development of other viable affordable housing projects."
The decision to explore the possibility of selling the Saglemi Affordable Housing Project, Mr Asenso Boakye explained, was taken after the government painstakingly reviewed and assessed the project.
In 2012, the government secured a $200 million loan for the construction of 5000 housing units at Saglemi, a community near Tema, in the Greater Accra Region.
However, Mr Asenso-Boakye said at the end of the stipulated completion date for the project, it was found that only 1,506 housing units were at various stages of completion “and not habitable."
He indicated that an assessment later revealed that the ministry would need $13 million to connect the uncompleted housing units to potable water, and $8 million to connect to electricity, while $46 million was needed for off-site infrastructure and an additional $68 million for on-site infrastructure.
"Given the amount spent and the money needed to complete the project there is no doubt that Saglemi is a failed project. We have asked the Ghana Institute of Surveyors to give us the current valuation of the project so we know how much it is worth," he stated.
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