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01.05.2004 General News

Govt to increase low cost housing units

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Accra, May 1, GNA - Vice President Aliu Mahama on Saturday said Government has decided to increase the stock of low cost housing units. As a first step, existing low cost houses are being offered for sale nation-wide so as to increase the number of owner-occupied houses for low income Ghanaians.
Vice President Mahama was speaking at a colourful parade of workers in Accra, to mark this year's May Day celebrations under the theme "Social Protection and Economic Development."
He said the Ministry of Works and Housing has commissioned a study to determine the value of the houses, and those who occupy them, in order to come out with modalities for the sale of the houses to existing tenants.
Proceeds from the sale would be used as seed money to start Government's Rural Housing Programme, Vice President Mahama said. He gave the assurance that the interests of the public servant would be duly considered in the sale in order not to create any problems for officers posted to the regions and the districts.
Vice President Mahama said Government has acquired land in all the 10 regional capitals for the housing project, of which the documentation, planning and architectural designs were in progress. He said Government was also raising both domestic and foreign capital to provide infrastructure services before making the plots available to prospective developers.
Vice President Mahama said Government had teamed up with organized labour to fashion out the new labour law, Act 651, and said the new law would create a congenial labour environment to the mutual benefit of all key players in the economy.
He welcomed investors to take advantage of new law, and the favourable investment code and make Ghana a preferred investment destination.
Vice President Mahama repeated Government's call for the maximum contribution of all workers, both in private and public sector organisations, to optimize productivity to create wealth.
"We must rededicate ourselves and emulate the examples of the many devoted hard working men and women among us. We must strive to revive the discipline, hard work, a sense responsibility, dedication and devotion to Mother Ghana, which were the high standards of moral conduct and behaviour of our forebears," the Vice President said.
Mr Kwasi Adu-Amankwah, Secretary General of the Ghana Trades Union Congress (TUC), called workers to unite and work hard to enhance the activities of organized labour.
He said the TUC would diligently pursue a policy for improved income for workers and added that the Union had agreed at the National Tripartite Committee to work toward fixing a living wage aimed at promotion of the national productivity drive. Mr Adu-Amankwah said there should be equity in the sharing of the yields of higher productivity for the achievement of realistic incomes in Ghana.
He said called on organised labour to collaborate with Government to implement policies that would enhance workers welfare.
Mr Adu-Amankwah said the TUC would mobilize support to resist any imposition of policies on government by international institutions, particularly the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund. He called on Government to initiate adequate measures to protect the textile and poultry industries from collapse due to cheap imports, and also to restore the End of Service Benefits to workers.
The Prisons Band provided brass band music to the workers parade, which bore placards that had inscriptions, some of which read: " We Need Peace and Harmony to Work as a Team", "Serve Us With Metro Transport", "Give Us Vehicles to Ensure Efficiency", "AIDS is Real", " We Demand Cap 30" and this is Ghana, the Land of Inshaa Allahu." Prizes of 21-inch television sets were given to leaders of 17 unions of the congress for their meritorious service.