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Halt the sale of Saglemi project-Team Saglemi to President, Parliament

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A pressure group by name Team Saglemi, is appealing to President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, the Parliament of Ghana, and the Council of State to halt the decision taking by the government, of giving Saglemi Housing project out unceremoniously to private developer without any real benefit to the Saglemi Housing Township or even the military that the land was acquired in their name as well as the entire nation.

“From the entire Team Saglemi Housing not for sale, we wish to further
reiterate and re-echo solidly once more that the Project is not for Sale and
that we will do everything within our human and legal powers to force
government to rescind such ill and premature decision”.

The group made it clear that, they would not want any private
developer to come in and that,any private developer that ventures does that at
his or her own peril, as future government would be compelled by
Team Saglemi not for sale to cancel such unpatriotic contract.

This was made known at a press conference presented by the Group’s Convener, Nana Out Darko held in Accra.

The group according to Nana Otu Darko, are against any plan by
the sitting government or any future government to get a private
developer to buy off the Saglemi Housing Project.

He however assured on behalf of the group, to do whatever it takes to compel the government
to look for funding to complete the project.

“The sale of Saglemi housing project defeats the purpose of
affordability for which the government of Ghana contracted the loans.
Affordability is not in the books of any private business person.
Therefore, how affordable will the proposed private developer sell the
housing units to Ghanaians especially when they are in business to
make profit? How affordable is it when government is even the one
selling it talk less of a profit oriented private business person”.

Team Saglemi not for sale further stated that, the project is not a failed one but, it is only that
the government had not decided to prioritize it.

Below is the full press statement:

PRESS RELEASE

Thursday February 16, 2023

PRESS STATEMENT ON “SAGLEMI HOUSING PROJECT NOT FOR SALE”

ISSUED IN ACCRA ON 16TH FEBRUARY, 2023d

1. INTRODUCTION

Good morning, Ladies and Gentlemen of the Press and fellow citizens

and distinguished platform guests. Many thanks for availing

yourselves. We are here today to announce to you our stand

concerning government’s intention to sell Saglemi Housing Units

started by the erstwhile Mahama led administration. As we all know,

Saglemi is a public housing project located at Prampram in the Ningo

Prampram District in the Greater Accra Region. The project was

started in 2012 by the National Democratic Congress (NDC) under

John Mahama to ease the accommodation deficit in Ghana.

Ghana has lurching housing deficit of not less than 1.8million according to

recent reports by the Ghana Statistical Service. Meanwhile, according to

other recent reports, higher rental rates, mortgages, building materials, etc

against the evergreen low incomes and unemployment is a crystal indication

that the housing deficit may not end any time soon. It is therefore

imperative to treat affordable housing related projects with indescribable

seriousness and urgency especially at a time that streetism keeps growing

by day, “KAYAYES’” keep multiplying their numbers with many placed

homeless for lack of basic shelter and also due to the ever increasing cost of

rent.

2. History and Agreement to commence the project

The project was funded by Credit Suisse following a Parliament of Ghana

approval, and granted on October 13, 2012, in line with Article 181(1) of the

1992 Constitution of Ghana.

On January 4, 2013, the Ministry of Finance who was the borrower and the

lender signed a facility agreement for the release of $200 million to fund the

construction of the 5,000 housing units, Collins Dauda who was the then

Minister for Water Resources, Works and Housing signed the Engineering

Procurement and Construction Agreement with Construtora OAS Ghana

Limited, represented by Clocanas. In November 2013, former President John

Mahama cut the sod for the first phase of the Housing Project, in what was

described as the most ambitious housing project in the West Africa sub-region.

 

 

The over 300-acre 1,506-housing units facility, which comprises one to

three-bedroom apartments and townhouses, is 80 percent complete and

earmarked to be occupied by residents in the near future, therefore helping

to reduce the national housing deficit. The facility which sits on the 300-acre

land was meant to be a 5000-residential housing units. It has one to threebedroom flats for persons who earn low income and the agreement signed

by the erstwhile government stated it would be done in four phases.

Phase one saw the building of 180 blocks comprising over 1,500 flats.

Controversy over the project

The project became a matter of controversy after the New Patriotic Party

took power after years of abandonment. Samuel Atta Akyea, Fomer minister

of works and housing initially posited that the agreement was botched

following an alleged acts of embezzlement by some former NDC government

officials to the effect that out of the 5,000 proposed housing units approved

by parliament only 1506 housing units were done at various stages of

completion. TEAM SAGLEMI maintains our firmest position that the laws of

the land must deal appropriately with such individuals found culpable if any.

Government’s position to selling Saglemi housing project to a private

developer

According to Hon Asenso Boakye, the government has decided to lay hands

off the Saglemi housing project to pave way for a private developer to

refurbish the housing units and sell them to potential owners. According to

the Hon Minister, the government is exhausted and financially handicapped

and as a result cannot make any further fiscal commitment to the Saglemi

project.

When TEAM SAGLEMI NOT FOR SALE engaged the Minister and his team of

expert Directors including but not limited to the Ministry’s chief director upon

the Minister’s invitation, they unanimously affirmed their stringent and

incorrigible position to sell the Saglemi housing project to a private

developer for lack of funds.

Meanwhile, the same government that cries for being suffocated financially

per our undisclosed checks, have strangely decided to build from scratch

some 12,000 affordable housing units using the from the sale proceeds from

Saglemi after it has been sold. This we find very disingenuous to the

economic and socio-political health of our nation, and this is happening in

Ghana at a time when Ghana can boast of very few national assets. Ghana

airways, Black star line, Ghana’s Drill ship, Ghana Telecom, Numerous

Nkrumah’s factories, amongst many other national assets have been sold off

to aliens due to greed and limited vision. We will not keep mute and watch

Saglemi housing projects meet her untimely death like the enumerated ones

earlier stated.

the Minister of Works and Housing, Francis Asenso-Boakye intimated that

the government had decided to explore the possibility of selling the Saglemi

Housing Project, covering the 1,506 housing units at the current value to a

private sector entity to complete and sell (the housing units) to the public at

no further cost to the state. He further stated that what makes the Saglemi

Housing Project even more complicated is that government has already

expanded approximately $196 million on the project as has been submitted

therefore upon further consideration, government does not intend to expend

additional tax-payers money towards the completion of the project.

He added that proceeds from the sale was going to go the state and

reinvested into the new affordable housing projects situated at Amasaman.

A project the Minister argued they have not received funding for or met the

said private developer in question and yet every indication on the current

state of the Amasaman land shows and confirms work in progress. Where

did the Ministry get the seed fund to begin the minimal work on the new

land?

GROUP’S POSITION ON SALE

 The group want to state emphatically that we are against any plan by

the sitting government or any future government to get a private

developer to buy off the Saglemi Housing Project.

 We would, therefore, do whatever it takes to compel the government

to look for funding to complete the project.

 The sale of Saglemi housing project defeats the purpose of

affordability for which the government of Ghana contracted the loans.

Affordability is not in the books of any private business person.

Therefore, how affordable will the proposed private developer sell the

housing units to Ghanaians especially when they are in business to

make profit? How affordable is it when government is even the one

selling it talk less of a profit oriented private business person.

 Team Saglemi not for sale further wish to state devoid of any

ambiguity or equivocation that, the project is not a failed one only that

the government had not decided to prioritize it

We are stating our position clear that we would not want any private

developer to come in. Any private developer that ventures does that at

his or her own peril as future government would be compelled by

Team saglemi not for sale to cancel such unpatriotic contract…

 The said 55million dollars to build the newly proposed 12,000 housing

units is incorrect as according to the minister Hon Asenso Boakye, that

amount only constitute less than 40% of the total funds needed for the

government and the private partner to finish the new project. In fact,

the 55million dollars-40% share constitutes government’s role in the

new project at Amasaman which even includes the provision of the

land for the project which is less than the total amount of money

needed to build the 12,000 housing project. It is expected that the

private partner bears the rest of 60%.

More importantly, the group hereby appeal to the President, Ghana’s

Parliament, and the Council of State to halt government’s decision of giving

Saglemi Housing project out unceremoniously to a private developer without

any real benefit to the Saglemi Township or even the military that the land

was acquired in their name (per our checks) as well as the whole nation.

From the entire Team Saglemi Housing not for sale, we wish to further

reiterate and re-echo solidly once more that the Project is not for Sale and

that we will do everything within our human and legal powers to force

government to rescind such ill and premature decision.

We wish you a productive weekend ahead.

SIGNED

Nana Otu Darko

Lead Convener

0593787825

Takyi Addo,

0244369057

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