John Mahama must be questioned on Saglemi Housing project – Kwame Jantuah
John Mahama must be questioned on Saglemi Housing: The chief executive officer of the African Energy Consortium, Kwame Jantuah, is impressing on the government to question the former president John Dramani Mahama over the Saglemi housing project.
Jantuah’s demand follows the renewed debate on the state of the Saglemi housing scheme on the outskirts of Tsopoli, in the Ningo-Prampram District of Greater Accra. Funding for it was approved and construction started under the Mahama government.
The planned project, which was initially expected to provide 5,000 homes, was scaled back to 1,500 housing units. The new Minister of Works and Housing, Francis Asenso-Boakye, says government nonetheless requires US$32 million to complete the project.
Speaking on The Forum, Asaase Radio’s Saturday-morning current affairs and news analysis program, the African Energy Consortium boss said the government must demand accountability for taxpayers’ money.
“With such a situation, I expect some kind of investigation on why it has been left because I understand the loan for this project has been paid, and it is still standing there and it has not been used.
“If you look at the video [a clip of the abandoned site circulated on social media last weekend, claiming waste by the Akufo-Addo government] and they open the door to some of the rooms, when you see the state of the walls, you cry for Ghana,” he told Agyeman-Budu, host of The Forum.
Jantuah added: “I expect the president to say something and … I want the first question to be asked of President Mahama: ‘Why wasn’t this project completed?’ Let’s start from that point. ‘What stopped the project? Is it because you were thrown out of office? When the new government came, what happened?’”
Jantuah urged the government to find a solution to the country’s housing deficit, which currently stands at 2.5 million units.
“For certain things like housing, energy, agric, roads, sometimes it helps for all of us to sit down and direct it. Look at the number of people sleeping rough in this country,” he said.
Handover to Ghana Home Loans
Meanwhile, a former consultant on the Saglemi housing project, Dr. Camynta Baezie, is calling on the government to hand over the project to Ghana Home Loans to be given out to the general public on a mortgage.
Speaking to Asaase News, Dr. Baezie said Ghanaians cannot afford to continue to watch corrupt officials waste public resources to pursue their personal agenda at the expense of the development of the ordinary Ghanaian.
“Well, it is good that investigations are going on but the investigation must not stop the functionality of the building, an agreement was signed with Ghana Home Loans.
Hand over the completed buildings to Ghana Home Loans and let them give them out to the general public on a mortgage, which is what they are specialized in doing, and which is what they signed the agreement to do, so hand them over, it is as simple as that,” Dr. Baezie said.
He added: “So, whatever we can retrieve out of it, we start retrieving it, we have about two million housing deficits, so people are in need of houses and let people get access and start using them.”
The $200 million Saglemi housing project was initiated by the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) while it was in government.
The scheme was expected to deliver an initial 5,000 housing units.
Covering 300 acres of land with one- to three-bedroom flats and intended for low-income earners, the project was devised to make a significant dent in Ghana’s huge housing deficit.
It was launched by the then-president, John Mahama, in 2016.
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