The opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP) has kicked against government’s partnership with GUMA of South Africa to provide 500 affordable housing units in Ghana.
The ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC) fell on GUMA to for a start build the affordable housing units in the country for the security agencies following the collapse of the much touted STX deal.
Government weaned itself from the STX deal as a result of boardroom wrangling, but assured the nation made no loss in the pact.
The emergence of GUMA, according to Nana Akomea, the Director of Communications of the NPP, came as a big surprise to the leading opposition party because Ghana can boast of qualified estate developers to oversee the project.
“With the failure of the STX, all have hoped Ghanaian estate developers will be at the centre of governmental partnership and support in the delivery of affordable housing,” Akomea said. “It is therefore with great sadness that we learn government has embarked on yet another partnership with and support for a foreign company, GUMA of South Africa, to deliver 500 affordable housing units.”
“Ghanaian estate developers are once again sidelined. Their proposal on partnership and support with government has not been responded to since 2010.”
Nana Akomea sees the Mills-led stance as a “slap in the face of capable Ghanaian industry and expertise.”
Making a case for local estate developers, Akomea pointed out that during the era of ex-President J.A Kufuor, the NPP administration used Ghanaians to construct close to 5000 affordable housing units in the country.
He said: “Between 2006 and 2008, the government of the day partnered Ghanaian estate developers to deliver to near completion 4,700 units of affordable housing in Borteyman- Nungua, Asorkore- Mampong, Kpone, Koforidua and Tamale.
“With this record, it is difficult to understand how Ghanaian estate developers cannot be partnered and supported to deliver a mere 500 housing units, especially after three years of trying and failing with a foreign company.
“Ghanaian estate developers, borrowing at interest rates around 30%, have managed to put up impressive housing developments such as the Regimanuel Gray Estates, the Manets and Edloms, Coastal Estates, Comets, Buena Vista Homes, etc.”
“With government support and partnership, Ghanaian estate developers would be able to deliver even more affordable houses,” Akomea, who doubles as the MP for Okaikoi South said.
“This resort to support and partnership with foreigners is not only detrimental to Ghanaian industry and enterprise, but also has many adverse national effects such as repatriation of profits and attendant weakening of our currency.
“The NPP strongly urges the government to reconsider its housing development strategy to focus on taping the local expertise and capacity that Ghanaian estate developers possess,” Akomea said.**