General News of Monday, 14 May 2012Source: GNA The Minister of Works and Housing, E.T Mensah, has fired salvos at the opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP) for jumping to the defense of local estate developers with regards to the provision of affordable housing units in Ghana.
The main opposition party has kicked against government’s partnership with GUMA of South Africa to provide 500 affordable housing units in the country.
Addressing the press in Accra on Monday, Hon. Mensah, who described the NPP as “opportunistic, hypocritical and farcical”, said the party’s record when it comes to solving the housing deficit of the country is the poorest as compared to past governments.
The emergence of GUMA, according to Nana Akomea, the Director of Communications of the NPP, came as a big surprise to the leading opposition party because Ghana can boast of qualified estate developers to oversee the project.
“Did the NPP forget that GREDA [Ghana Real Estate Developers Association] was in existence when it contracted foreigners to design and build the presidential palace for Ghana, that it is now appearing to jump to GREDA’s defense,” the Minister pointed out.
Also, Nana Akomea pointed out in his statement that: “Between 2006 and 2008, the government of the day partnered Ghanaian estate developers to deliver to near completion 4,700 units of affordable housing in Borteyman- Nungua, Asorkore- Mampong, Kpone, Koforidua and Tamale.”
However, Hon. Mensah replied: “The bare truth is that of all the governments that have ruled Ghana since independence, the NPP’s tradition and performance with respect to the provision of houses for middle and low income earners have been the poorest.”
The lawmaker added: “For six years, the NPP did not find it necessary to increase the housing stock of the nation, but rather concentrated its effort on selling the existing State houses including Ministerial Bungalows and Ghana Airways buildings to themselves and cronies.”
Hon. Mensah said the pact between the Mills-led administration and the GUMA group can be described as dawn of a new era aimed at addressing the housing deficit in Ghana.**