May 9, 2012

The Minister of Water Resources Works and Housing, Enoch Teye Mensah has sharply responded to the New Patriotic Party (NPP’s) criticism of government decision of engaging a foreign company to build 500 houses saying the NPP does not have the moral authority to advice government of growing local businesses.

According to him, the NPP has no track record to demonstrate its commitment in using local contractors to build completed quality housing projects for Ghanaians and as such must be the last to advice government on such an issue.

The NPP has lashed out against government for once again sidelining Ghanaian estate developers after the botched STX Korean Housing deal, for a South African firm to construct 500 housing units when local contractors have the capacity to do more than that.

The party said “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. 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’’.

However speaking on Radio Gold on Wednesday, Hon. E.T Mensah who is also the MP for Ningo/Prampram dismissed the NPP’s claim saying the NDC government remains committed to growing local contractors and has amply demonstrated it in the past by supporting them to build several housing projects including the SSNIT estates spread across the country.

He said the contrary to suggestions that government had closed its doors to GREDA saying his ministry is yet to receive the petition it claims it had sent to government adding that GREDA will be given the opportunity when it satisfies government’s requirement.

Hon. E.T Mensah he cleared the air stating that the government has not signed any contract with the Guma Group as is being speculated, and that it is an MoU which requires that the Guma Group uses modern technology to complete 500 housing units within or before the year comes to a close, adding there are still over 10, 000 housing units following the collapse of the STX housing project.

Kwadwo Anim/