She added that the Ministry “has no intention” to lease out the Osu Children’s Home lands to any private developer, nor any intention to enter into any partnership deal with a private developer to develop the Home’s lands.
The Deputy Minister was answering questions on the floor of Parliament on Wednesday, told Members that the Ministry.
Her assurance was in response to a question posed by Mr Collins Ntim, Deputy Ranking Member on Health and Member of Parliament (MP) for Offinso North, on behalf of Mr Benito Owusu-Bio, the MP for Atwima Nwabiagya North, to whether the Ministry has gone into any agreement with private investors on the Osu Children’s Home Lands, and if so what were the details.
Speculations are rife that the Ministry has entered into an agreement with some private investors to relocate the Home and develop it for commercial purposes.
The facility which houses 154 children (90 boys and 64 girls) and located within a few meters from the Labone Junction in Accra has become a prime target for private developers because of its strategic location.
But the Deputy said: “Mr Speaker, I wish to state that the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection has not gone into any agreement with Private Investors with regard to the Osu Children’s Home lands.
“I would like to assure this House that the Ministry has not and does not intend to go into partnership with any private developer.”
However, she told the House that the Ministry on December 18, 2014 received a letter from CADS Contracts and Services drawing its attention to an agreement with the Ministry of Employment and Social Welfare dated November 29, 2012.
CADS Contracts and Services, she said, also requested for a meeting to discuss a proposal for the relocation of the Osu Children’s Home.
“The Ministry responded per letter dated January 7, 2015 that until the Ministry received CADS Contract and Services Limited request for a meeting it did not know about the agreement as it did not feature in any discussions on the separation of the Department of Social Welfare from the Ministry of Employment and Social Welfare which supervises the Osu Children’s Home.
“We opined… that this matter was not included in the transfer of responsibilities to the Ministry when the Department of Social Welfare was being separated from the Ministry of Employment and Social Welfare. That had not featured in any discussions of the Ministry. That the Ministry owes no contractual obligations and does not intend to pursue the agreement.
“Mr Speaker, we further informed CADS Contract and Services Limited that we do not intend to embark on the project,” she added.
In her view the Ministry did not see the said project as one which would promote the best interest of the children in the Home with regard to their protection and overall development.
Mrs Sowah added that there were no records to show that the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources had responded to the Ministry of Employment and Labour Relation’s request to lease the landed property of the Osu Children’s Home when the CADS Contract and Services Limited matter was referred to it.
By Ken Sackey/Benjamin Mensah, GNA