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Ghana-China bauxite barter agreement to yield 10,000 housing units

Wednesday, Aug 15, 2018

   Government on Monday announced plans to provide additional 10,000 housing units and court structures for the security services and the Judiciary under the Master Facility Agreement signed between the Government of Ghana and Sino-hydro Corporation /Chinese Government infrastructure for Bauxite Barter Arrangement.

  Vice President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia made this known when he performed the sod-cutting ceremony of Phase Three of the Security Forces Housing Units for the personnel of the Ghana Police Service in Accra on Monday.
  “I would like to assure the security services that this will not be the last. Government has reached advanced stages with Sinohydro Corporation Limited for the construction of houses and court structures for the Ghana Armed Forces, Ghana Police Service, Ghana Prisons Service, Ghana Immigration Service, Ghana National Fire Service and Judicial Service,” Dr Bawumia added.
  He said the country’s housing deficit could be attributed to undersupply of annual requirements of housing units, with the current supply estimated between 35,000 and 40,000 units per annum, as against an actual need of 170,000 units.
  Ghana’s housing deficit is in excess of 1.7 million units, and is expected to rise to two million by 2020, if proactive measures are not taken by key stakeholders to address it.
  Vice President Bawumia noted that over 50 per cent of Ghanaians lived in sub-standard houses, dilapidated inner-city dwellings, uncompleted houses, shops and kiosks as well as other unsuitable structures.
  He noted that the housing shortfall could be as a result of high cost of purchasing or renting a home, litigation over land ownership, high cost of building materials and labour cost as well as lack of realistic and reliable mortgage regime.
  He, therefore, urged the private sector to complement government’s efforts to solve the current housing deficit, saying; “The solution to Ghana’s housing deficit problem does not however depend on the public sector alone. For the private sector to fill the gap, Ghana must have a functioning mortgage market with lower interest rates”.
  Dr Bawumia bemoaned the poor accommodation of police personnel, who were accommodated in substandard houses scattered in towns and cities across the country, which often hampered the efficient mobilisation and coordination of personnel for emergency assignments.
  He called for functional mortgage market with lower interest rate, adding; “Government is working around the clock to reduce the housing deficit currently facing the country”.
  The Inspector General of Police, Mr David Asante-Apeatu, in his welcoming address, said the Ghana Police Service’s transformational programme was on course, with the collective vision of becoming a world class service capable of delivering planned, democratic and peaceful services up to the standards of international best practices.
  He said the agenda of transformation of the Service was capital intensive, especially in an era where government was faced with competing demands in the distribution of the national resources.
  This notwithstanding, he said the Service appreciated government’s efforts to adequately equip and maintain the Service in line with the dictates of the Constitution of Ghana.
  The IGP noted that the completion of the housing units would be a morale booster for the personnel of the Service.
  Meanwhile, Mr Ambrose Dery, the Minister of the Interior, announced government’s plans to recruit 4,000 police personnel this year, to augment the Service in order to deliver on its mandate, noting that, currently the ratio of the personnel stood at 1:848, which was below the United Nations standard of 1:500.

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