Council of State member and former Works and Housing Minister, ET Mensah, has punched holes into some claims made by the National Communications Officer of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC), Sammy Gyamfi, about the controversial Saglemi housing deal.
According to him, the claims made by Sammy Gyamfi are false and do not reflect the truth about the deal.
Sammy Gyamfi, in defense of ET Mensah's successor, Collins Dauda, who has together with three others been cited for willfully causing financial loss to the state, said the latter did nothing wrong, and that some of the things he has been blamed for were put in place by ET Mensah.
Among other things, Sammy Gyamfi said ET Mensah had informed parliament during the debate on the loan agreement for the project that the 5,000 housing units will not be built at a go, but rather over a period.
He also said the approved amount of $200 million for the project excluded the cost of a serviced plot of land with roads, water, electricity, drains, sewage systems and other ancillary facilities for the smooth takeoff of the project, and that because government did not have any funds to fall on to discharge these responsibilities, the decision was taken by the ministry to use part of the approved amount of the project for the necessary ancillary works.
But speaking on Good Evening Ghana, ET Mensah said, “it is not true.”
“That person doesn't know what he is talking about… It is not true. It is absolutely false,” he said.
On the claim that there was an agreement for the project to be executed in phases, he said the plan was to construct the 5,000 units in just one phase.
He also denied that the project designs were varied after the technical committee noticed that the initial designs were not fit for the Ghanaian context.
“[The plan was] 5,000 houses, first phase. It is a lie [it wasn't going to be built in four phases]. I was not involved in any phasing system. We knew that we wanted to build, that is 5,000 houses to be built for workers, and it was approved; executive approval was given and parliament approved it, so if anything at all, If I wanted to change something, I had to go through the same process again,” he said.
The Attorney-General and Minister of Justice, Godfred Dame, earlier this week filed court processes to prosecute former Minister of Water Resources, Works and Housing, Alhaji Collins Dauda; his successor, Dr. Kwaku Agyeman-Mensah, and three other persons for allegedly causing financial loss to the state wilfully over the now-abandoned Saglemi Affordable Housing Project.
The state is pressing 52 counts of criminal charges against the accused persons who he accuses of misapplying the state's $200 million to pay for less than 1,500 affordable housing units at Saglemi, instead of the 5,000 units parliament granted approval for.