In August 2012, as part of moves to alleviate the housing deficit of this country, the then President of Ghana, John Dramani Mahama signed a $280 million deal to construct 5,000 housing units at Saglemi in the Ningo-Prampram District.
Then the Government changed hands.
Under the new administration, the first phase of 1502 flats was said by the Works and Housing Minister, Samuel Atta Akyea (now replaced) to be being made available to Ghanaians by December 2020.
But the project has since been saddled with controversy as the current administration accuses the Mahama administration of supervising a corrupt deal that shortchanged the public purse – allegations appointees of the Mahama administration deny.
At the time, Atta Akyea told Joy News: “The Institute of surveyors are ready to do us some good job, and when we finish, we’ll be able to use the audit for two purposes. To get a new contractor to complete the structures for human habitation and also, refer the matter to the appropriate bodies for criminal prosecution because from our perspective, there’s been misappropriation of funds.”
He added, “This will certainly be done before December 7. This is one of the major, top-most priorities of my ministry and it will be soon….We can complete about 1,500 and then begin the role-out of the rest of the houses so that we hit the 5,000 units that were the original intent of the contract”.
But a video available to GhanaWeb shows how the 1502 flats have been left to rot without any governmental intervention.
Some parts of the housing units have been engulfed in weeds and the glass windows of the building become very fragile with just a little touch needed to break them off.
“Yes, fellow Ghanaians, this is your blood, this is your wealth, this is your resources abandoned…people are looking for homes…can we do something about this?…windows hitting each other every minute, glasses breaking…, this is not fair,” Hassan Ayariga who was running commentary whilst videoing the property said.
“There are millions of Ghanaians looking for homes. I am not against any political party, not against the President, but I am against bad leadership. This cannot be right,” he added.
Ayariga continued: “Millions are sleeping in the bush, are we serious as a nation, a whole town? Who will waste his money to do this? Will former President Mahama or President Nana Akufo-Addo waste his money to do this?
Just look, thousands of homes, thousands of homes; this is serious, this is sad. Very very sad…are we serious?”
He called on President Akufo-Addo to salvage the 1502 housing units left.
“Else very soon, I will invite Ghanaians to come and start living here for free,” Ayariga warned. “Just listen to the noise, the windows are hitting each other, all the glass will break, all the windows will break. Can you imagine, look at the noise…”
“And we are complaining about accommodation, accommodation and people are crying looking for a place to sleep and we have wasted this property. This is our taxpayers money, it doesn’t belong to any party, it’s not for NDC, NPP or APC it is for the taxpayers, we pay taxes to build this and we are wasting it…
I am giving the government one month to work on this. If not Ghanaians should move and come and live in these homes. Just move and come and occupy, this is sad!” Ayariga stressed.
He further threatened to clean the whole place and rent the building out to Ghanaians who are willing to get a place to live, for, he doesn’t care about the consequences that will follow.
Meanwhile, Francis Asenso-Boakye, the new Minister of Works and Housing has said his ministry will ensure the completion of work on the abandoned Saglemi housing project.
“The government is committed to continuing the project and seeing to its completion, regardless of the challenges,” Francis Asenso-Boakye, said after a visit to the site on Wednesday, March 17, 2021.
He added that in spite of the difficulties associated with the project, the government would look for strategic investors to help complete it, including all uncompleted housing projects across the country.