Let's Learn From Failures Of STX - CPP
4/18/2012 9:30:53 PM -
The Convention People’s Party is urging the government to ensure that it capitalises on the failure of the STXâ€ˆhousing project to reorganise and provide housing units to arrest the growing housing deficit in the country.
According to the CPP, the project’s failure brings to the fore a number of pertinent issues concerning the governance of the country, especially the use of indigenous manpower and expertise in the execution of projects.
The party indicated that due to the government’s admission of the project’s failure, the construction of houses by individuals, governments and developers ought to be well regulated and integrated into a masterplan for all fixed infrastructure such as roads, power generation/distribution systems.
A statement issued in Accra by the CPP’s Shadow Minister for Housing, Mr John T. Abebrese, indicated that situations such as the STX Project have retarded the forward march of the country and its self-esteem.
It said that over-reliance on foreign support and assistance in the implementation of ideas and projects by past governments were in sharp contrast to the “Ghanaian-Consciousness” of being able to manage our own affairs, which the CPP had persistently tried to instil among citizenry.
“In a clear demonstration of the belief in the ability and capability of the Ghanaian worker, CPP turned an otherwise unknown village called Tema into a residential paradise for workers and their families, virtually overnight with local expertise, manpower and a heavy dose of the “can-do” attitude”, it said.
It said took the then CPP government a little over five years to construct Tema Communities One to 10, provide families with 18,000 decent homes using local expertise, manpower and management.
It said that whereas the STX would essentially have been developing someone else’s market share profits in the area of steel,
cement, glass, aluminium, tiles, plastics and other housing materials, thereby exporting Ghanaian jobs, there was the need to learn the act of self-belief; discipline and nationalism which have helped develop Korea into a formidable nation.
“We have not grown the institutions that would enable us develop our housing industry, and that is a mark of failure on the part of successive governments that have relegated such issues into the background,” Mr Abebrese lamented.
The statement further said that Ghana’s housing challenge had remained immense, hence the need to develop an appropriate body of knowledge that would facilitate the delivery in line with efforts to address the 1.5 million housing deficit.
That, it added, must be done with the active participation by the State in key areas, as has been done in other countries.
It also said that affordable housing could be provided only if the State takes advantage of economies of scale in land management, bulk construction materials and credit (banking or financial) for real estate developers, among others.
“No country in the world has overcome its housing challenge without a strong intervention from the State,”the statement indicated.
Citing the example of the United States, it said that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, which were established during the New Deal era and remained government-sponsored entities until recently, held over $5 trillion of asset-backed guarantees.
It also said that the STX fiasco, the latest in a string of disappointments that the good people of this country have been made to suffer at the hands of past governments, should make the National Democratic Congress (NDC) government and successive ones ensure that Ghana returns to the era of self-reliance where the Ghanaian worker was motivated and encouraged to develop that sense of self-confidence and that “can-do” spirit.