President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has cut the sword for the construction of 225 housing units at Oyoko Akrofrom near Kumasi in the Ashanti Region to be undertaken by the State Housing Company Limited.
Addressing a huge gathering at the project site on Monday, President Akufo-Addo lauded management of State Housing Company, as well as the Ministry of Works and Housing for the housing project. The President was particularly excited about the revamped State Housing Company Limited which is poised to fully performing its role as the Nation’s Builder.
The President also lauded the SHC for funding the project from its Internally Generated Funds and entreated ‘all institutional heads to be innovative in generating the needed funds to execute legacy projects such as this housing project; just as the SHC was doing,
He entreated management to make acquiring any of the housing types affordable for ordinary Ghanaians. He also added that maintaining public structures had always been a headache in the country but hoped that the SHC was up to the challenge.
The Managing Director of the State Housing Company Limited, in his submission said the company was faced with various challenges when he was sworn into office, prime amongst them being debts and inadequate liquidity.
This notwithstanding, the team at the State Housing company with the support of the Minister for Works and Housing, embarked on a drive to claiming all rents and royalties which had been due and outstanding for many years as well as vigorously embarking on the core mandate of SHC; which is to build and develop homes for Ghanaians.
Mr. Ampofo added that these efforts have yielded positive results one of which was why the commissioning of the construction of the John Agyekum Kuffuor Estates, Akrofrom has been possible. He said there were other ongoing projects which includes housing for Immigration officers in Tamale, expansion on housing estates in Sunyani, construction of apartments in Adenta, Accra and construction of apartments in North Kaneshie, Accra. Other scheduled projects due to commence this year includes the construction of 1,000 housing units for the Ghana Health service in Sewia Ashanti , and the redevelopment of the Kanda and Ringway estates in Accra and Anage estates in the western region.
The Managing Director also revealed that it has been 12 years since the company last paid back dividends to the government, and that this year the company will be able to pay back dividend to the government.
Mr. Appiah did not fail to acknowledge the challenges with affordable mortgages in Ghana and assured the gathered crowd that SHC homes were affordable to all Ghanaians. He was very hopeful that the current reforms ongoing within the banking sector would eventually lead to improving mortgage financing in Ghana. However, going forward, Mr. Ampofo believes it will be useful to explore and leverage non-traditional financing options such as pension funds to provide home mortgages to Ghanaians and also to free up equity in existing homes.
In his closing remarks, Nana Ampofo Appiah admonished various stakeholders to take particular interest in the housing sector and to provide the necessary support when required. The Oyokohene, Nana Agyekum Kusi Ababio who was the Chairman of the occasion, commended the government and SHC for bringing the project to his traditional area. He gave assurance that the traditional authority would give every needed assistance to the project.
He however appealed to management to give priority to the indegenious labour force.
Accompanying the President were Dignitaries such as the Senior Minister Osafo Maafo, the Agric Minister Dr. Afriyie Akoto, Ms Elizabeth Ohene, the Ashanti Regional Minister Simon Osei- Mensah, MP for the Atwima Nwabiagya North, Benito Owusu Bio among others.