‘Govt Focused On Housing Delivery’
The debate on the budget continued on Wednesday, with the Minister of Works and Housing, Samuel Atta Akyea, giving assurance that the government would partner the private sector to provide affordable houses for workers.
The Minister said for the 1.7 million housing deficit to be solved, the government may have to build 200,000 houses a year which will take eight and half years to clear the deficit.
He said since the New Patriotic Party (NPP) took over power in January this year, many private investors have shown interest in the housing sector and were ready to partner government to provide affordable houses for Ghanaians.
He said there is no credible mortgage system in the country and that the government will put into operation an effective mortgage system to help Ghanaians buy houses through mortgage arrangement.
According to the Minister, pension funds could be a good source of financial outlay that could be used to provide such affordable houses and mortgaged to workers.
The Minister, who is the NPP MP for Abuakwa South, indicated that the issue of flooding in the major cities and towns would also be tackled by the government.
He said the government is determined to fix the flooding problem which has been causing a lot of destruction to lives and property permanently.
“No amount of propaganda by the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) can stop us from working to achieve results for Ghanaians,” he said, adding that it would be better for the NDC to stop the criticisms and applaud the government for the workable policies it is implementing.
The NDC MP for Ho West, Emmanuel Bedzrah, who is the ranking member on Works and Housing Committee of Parliament, said the government has lost focus as far as the 2017 and 2018 budgets are concerned.
According to him, the 2017 budget should have been an ideal document to work with in 2018 since it is better in terms of policy initiatives.
“I don't see anything good in this 2018 budget because most of the budget allocations to the various ministries have been slashed in the 2018 budget,” he said, adding that the 2017 budget is a better document than the 2018 one.
According to the Ho West MP, the budget for the Presidency, which is GH¢1.9 billion, is bigger than the budget of eight key ministries, including Roads and Highways and Works and Housing, which according to him is GH¢1.8 billion.
By Thomas Fosu Jnr