Pokuase housing project commissioned
THE Vice-President, Professor J.E. Atta Mills, yesterday commissioned the first phase of a multi-billion 600-unit housing project being undertaken by the African Concrete Products (ACP) Estates Limited at Pokuase near Accra.
The first phase, made up of 60 semi-detached houses of two, three and four bedrooms, roofed with tiles, cost between $29,000 and $128,000 in price, per unit.
Situated on a hilly area on the outskirts of Pokuase, about five minutes drive from the main Accra-Nsawam road from the eastern direction, the housing estate has a well demarcated road network and has beyond it vast land which is being developed into a forest.
Professor Mills who was accompanied by the Minister of Works and Housing, Mr. I.K. Adjei-Mensah, also cut the sod for commencement of work on the second phase of the project.
Speaking before his tour of the units, Professor Mills said the government is aware that mortgage and construction financing is still rather rudimentary in the country and said much still remains to be done to propel the building industry in that regard.
The Vice-President said land acquisition and development control lack effective management in the country and this has resulted in people having to go through what he described as painful bureaucratic processes.
He cautioned those who are taking advantage of the situation to take note of the fact that government will not allow them to sacrifice the progress made in the sector on the altar of their individual greed.
Professor Mills also said the government is “aware that the laws governing compensation to real estate developers who have had to get involved in the provision of utility services have been less than satisfactory”.
“It is time that clearer mechanisms are put in place to enable real estate developers recoup a significant portion of the heavy initial investments they make in constructing major utility service lines and road network”, he said.
Professor Mills commended ACP Estates for complementing government’s effort at solving the housing problem in the country.
He urged developers and local administrators to ensure that all development projects which are undertaken are based on sound human-centred principles.
He announced that reconstruction works on the Accra-Nsawam Road will begin by the middle of next year to ease the traffic problems that face residents in the area.
Professor Mills said funds for the project have been secured and consultants are working on the final preparatory stages of the project.
Earlier in his introductory remarks, Mr. Ralph Sutherland, Acting Managing Director of ACP Estates Limited, said all formalities to ensure the security of the lease of the land has been finalised with the chief of Pokuase and thanked the chief and his people for their co-operation.
He said ACP Estates in appreciation will donate two classroom blocks to the people of Pokuase as a gesture for the release of the land for the project.
Mr. Sutherland asked the government to properly equip the police to fight hunters who continue to hunt for game in the forest behind the estates.