The Minister Works and Housing, Samuel Atta Akyea has announced the decision of the government to stop paying monies meant for materials directly to all contractors working on its housing projects.
Mr. Atta Akyea explained that they would rather be supplied with the raw materials needed to complete the projects.
According to him, the policy was implemented following the misapplication of the funds by the contractors.
Speaking to the media after meeting members of the Public Accounts Committee on Thursday, Attah Akyea emphasized the need for government to manage its funds properly.
“One way that we’ve discovered as a reason why properties those contractors are putting up delay is that the monies are not seriously applied to the task. And therefore if you are supposed to complete all the houses, we need to buy the materials…chances are that most of these contractors will use the monies for other purposes apart from what its needed for.”
“That is why we’ve taken this decision strongly, that we will not put monies in anybody’s hands, nobody is going to use government’s money to look after children schooling abroad. If its iron roads, we buy it, you cannot eat iron roads, it has to be applied to the project and if we go this way we will be able to finish all the uncompleted houses in good time. All that the contractor is entitled to is the cost of labour and their profit margin as defined by the contract.”
Recall that a 5000 housing units project were adopted by the National Democratic Congress (NDC) under the leadership of former President, John Mahama. The project was meant to provide affordable housing for Ghanaians in a bid to reduce the country’s housing deficit of about 1.7 million.
Only about 1,500 housing units were completed at Ningo Prampram in the Greater Accra Region before the NDC government left office.
Samuel Atta-Akyea had earlier revealed that girlfriends of some public officials may be occupying state bungalows without paying rent. He told journalists that there is an ongoing audit of such properties and those who fail to justify paying their rent will be kicked out in three months.
The Minister said the rent will enable government put up other houses for others to benefit from.
“We cannot have a situation where you will take the government for granted so we will certainly evict them.
“Some officials are even proud to say this is my nephew, let him leave there for free when the person does not work with for example the Health Ministry.”
“Meanwhile doctors and nurses are marking time looking for accommodation. The audit will bring all these to bear and those there will be surcharged.
Mr. Atta Akyea said no landlord will permit tenants to reside in their property without paying the requisite rent. He also lamented the rate at which people misuse government property without considering that they are part of the government.