1,412 Saglemi houses left to rot; gov’t to terminate deal

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The Minority in parliament has expressed outrage concerning some 1,412 affordable houses, which, it says, have been left to rot since the Akufo-Addo government took office in January 2017.

At an on-site press conference by the Minority members of the Parliamentary Select Committee on Works and Housing, the Ranking Member, Mr Emmanuel Kwasi Bedzrah, wondered why so many houses would be left to rot while the housing deficit inches up – almost hitting two million.

Mr Bedzrah said on Friday, 31 October 2012, parliament granted an approval of $200 million for the construction of the affordable houses at Saglemi near Tsopoli in the Ningo Prampram District of the Greater Accra Region.

The contract, he said, was a turnkey project classified under engineering, procurement and construction (EPC), which, he explained, gave the contractor “the responsibility of designing, procurement and construction”, adding that “after the completion of the project, it will be handed over to the Ministry of Water Resources, Works and Housing”.

The project is being undertaken by Messrs Construtora OAS Limited as the contractor with the client being the Ministry of Works and Housing. Ridge Management Solution, RSM Ghana Limited is serving as the consultant for the project.

The contract, according to the Minority, was awarded on the 27th of February 2014 with an initial completion date being 1 March 2016.

A total of 5,000 housing units were to be delivered at the end of the contract.

“The initial housing units to be delivered under Phase I is supposed to be 1, 412”, said Mr Bedzrah.

The lawmaker told journalists that the Select Committee on Works and Housing visited the site on Thursday, 11 April 2019 in the company of the Minister of Works and Housing, Mr Samuel Atta Akyea; and his deputy, Mrs Barbara Aisha Ayisi; and observed that the needed on-site social infrastructure and facilities such as an electricity distribution board, street lights, open spaces, tarred roads and covered drains had all been provided.

He said: “The Phase I of the project, which comprises 1,412 units consisting of two- and three-bedrooms, 116 normal town housing units, have practically been completed, one of which has been designated for a police station. 636 units out of the 1,024 were also completed for occupation”.

The remaining 388, he said, have been 70 per cent completed.

Meanwhile, the sector minister explained to Valentina Ofori-Afriyie on Class91.3FM’s 505 news programme on Tuesday evening that his office is waiting for an advice from the Attorney General regarding how to deal with the project, since some anomalies have been detected with the contract.

Mr Atta Akyea wondered why only over 600 units have been completed when about 90 per cent payment had been made to the contractor.

According to him, the government is considering terminating the contract, adding that the AG, Ms Gloria Akuffo, has assured him that her office is almost done perusing the voluminous contract documents she had been studying and would soon proffer an advice as to the way forward.

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