The New Patriotic Party (NPP) Member of Parliament for Sisala East, Mr. Ridwan Abass Duada, has cautioned government against plans to give buildings in Maamobi-Nima-a suburb in Accra-a facelift.
The legislator says the government should not start the project if it cannot finish just like other housing projects.
Speaking on Frontline on Rainbow Radio 87.5Fm, the MP said it would be important for the government to start and complete the project.
To him, successive governments have failed to work in the interest of the state and citizens because of their failure to continue projects by previous administrations.
This practice he noted has caused the nation a lot of money due to our political differences.
The housing deficit in the country he lamented has been caused by the abandoning of housing projects by all the various governments that had governed the state.
“The attitude of abandoning projects by governments has caused the people a lot. When a government starts a project and is out of power, the next government that takes over fails to continue with the projects and start a new one. It is the same in the health, education and other sectors of our economy. This practice is not the best.”
He has therefore admonished political leaders to move from the arena of politics to the arena of national interest in order to make Ghana a great nation.
He made mention of the Saglemi Housing project and other housing projects which have been abandoned due to political reasons.
He was however quick to add that leaders must do the right thing when awarding contracts
He said due process must be followed when contracts are being awarded in other to ensure value for money, accountability, and transparency
In his view, Nima would be a beautiful city should it be well developed.
“It could also serve as one of the areas to house a lot of people hence the need for government to put in place measures to execute the plan well, he suggested.
“Nima could be the best city in Accra if it is well developed. It could become the most beautiful city in Accra if we are able to develop it well.”
He said we must tackle the housing deficit without a political spectacle.
The Works and Housing Minister, Mr. Samuel Atta-Akyea, has hinted of plans by the government to give buildings in Nima and Maamobi some major facelift.
According to him, the redevelopment of the slum will give meaning and beauty to the President’s vision of Inner City and Zongo Development.
He said this “is collaborating with the Lands and Zongo Development Ministries to turn the approximately 1,039 acres of prime land into a world-class residential enclave.”
He explained that “the philosophy underlying the concept of replacing slum building with modern houses, on the same plots of land is to substantially improve the physical environment at virtually no additional infrastructural cost.”
The move is also intended to reduce government expenditure on infrastructure and services to developing areas, he added.
Mr. Akyea said the value of the land to be developed will be determined by the Lands Commission on Market Value basis – fair and equitably.
“The size of the parcel of land to be developed by the investor for the government will be determined and that for the investor also determined.
“The investor will be made to develop a number of flats or townhouses for the Government based on the market value of the land to be retained by him/her. The investor will be required to complete and hand over the houses to Government before his parcel of land is released to him,” he said.
As part of efforts to address the housing deficit, the government is embarking on a housing program aimed at facilitating the construction of 250,000 housing units yearly over the next eight years, through Public Private Partnership (PPP).
Reacting to the plan, the NPP MP said “if we are not ready to do this, then we shouldn’t even start. If we are not ready, we shouldn’t start it. We should only start it if we are not ready to complete it.”
He added: “As much as we belong to political parties, we should always think about the people.”