July 7, 2021

The First Deputy Speaker of Parliament, Joseph Osei Owusu presiding over sitting on Tuesday, July 6, 2021 has directed the Finance Committee of Parliament to be joined by the leadership of the Committees of Trade and Industry, and Works and Housing to investigate the basis for the escalating prices of building materials, and related matters.

The Committee has four weeks (one Month) to present its report to the House.

The Speaker’s directive follows a statement made on the floor of the House by the Member of Parliament for Obuasi West, Kwaku Kwarteng on escalating prices of building materials in recent times without any just cause.

According to him, it is difficult to find any justification for the price hikes especially when the 2021 Budget Statement and Economic Policy does not impose taxes and levies on building materials. “The price hikes for these items predates the recent taxes this parliament approves as part of the 2021 budget statement and economic policy”.

Mr. Kwarteng’s observation and worry was duly corroborated by other contributors on the issue and his appeal for investigation on the matter was backed by leadership of both sides of the House.

The Majority Leader and Leader of Government business, Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu speaking on the issue indicated that this is of urgent public importance hence should not be trivialized

“Mr. Speaker, why it is very serious is that, well, for now we are in the business of counting the number of houses in this country, the projection all these while has been that the deficit of housing is in the region of between 1.5 million and 2 million, we are not too sure of what the exact figure is”.

“The point however remains that demands for housing outstrip supply in this country and that is the reason why rent is so high, so we need to bridge the gap, and if in the attempt to bridge the gap we are confronted with this situation, them Mr. Speaker as a nation we must sit up and analyze the situation”, the Majority Leader stated.

Dominic Shirimori/Ghanamps.com