Saglemi Housing Project Video: Asenso Boakye Debunks ‘Hassan Ayariga’s’ Claims

02 May 2021
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The Ministry of Works and Housing has refuted claims captured on a viral video on which a person identifying himself as Hassan Ayariga decries the current state of the Saglemi Housing Project.

According to the Minister, the project is in its current state as a result of corruption and lack of proper planning by politicians but added that the Akufo-Addo government has not shied away from tackling the issue.

His comment comes on the heels of a video purportedly shot and with an accompanying commentary by the said Ayariga, who also canvassed for mass occupation without recourse to proper procudures.

The sector Minister, in a statement copied to Peacefmonline, sought to set the records straight by cataloguing a number of remedial measures taken by the current administration to deal with the ills of the project saying “the Government of H. E. the President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, upon assumption of office in January 2017, has recognized the urgent need for the rapid resolution of these challenges, thorny as they may be, in order for these properties that have been developed at great cost to the state, to be completed and made available to the citizenry.

 

“Not counting the actions taken in private, the records show that there have been not less than twenty public engagements by the Ministry of Works and Housing, including (a) periodic updates at the Meet-the-Press series since 2017, (b) joint press tours of the site, (c) statements and responses to urgent questions on the floor of Parliament, (d) in-person interviews at various media houses among others.”

 

 

Read full statement below:

 

PRESS STATEMENT BY FRANCIS ASENSO-BOAKYE (MP), MINISTER FOR
WORKS AND HOUSING HELD ON TUESDAY, 27TH APRIL 2021 AT THE
MINISTRY OF WORKS AND HOUSING, ACCRA ON THE VIRAL VIDEO
PURPORTEDLY PRODUCED BY ONE DR. HASSAN AYARIGA ON THE
CURRENT STATE OF THE SAGLEMI HOUSING PROJECT
 
Good afternoon to you All,
The attention of the Ministry of Works and Housing has been drawn to a video doing
the rounds on social media, purportedly shot and with accompanying commentary by
a person identifying himself as Hassan Ayariga, decrying the state of affairs on the site
and canvassing for mass occupation without recourse to due procedure.
 
The Ministry believes that if the aim of the video was altruistic as the voice over
narrator attempts to communicate, the thrust of the message would have gone beyond
the appeal to populism, from what is clearly, a superficial dab at the challenges
confronting the project.
 
For the record, the Government of H. E. the President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-
Addo, upon assumption of office in January 2017, has recognized the urgent need for
 
the rapid resolution of these challenges, thorny as they may be, in order for these
properties that have been developed at great cost to the state, to be completed and
made available to the citizenry. Not counting the actions taken in private, the records
show that there have been not less than twenty public engagements by the Ministry of
Works and Housing, including (a) periodic updates at the Meet-the-Press series since
2017, (b) joint press tours of the site, (c) statements and responses to urgent questions
on the floor of Parliament, (d) in-person interviews at various media houses among
others.
 
In all of these events, the Ministry has not shied away from outlining the ills of the
project and the remedial actions the government has been undertaking towards the

 

goal of completing and availing its occupation.
 
 
 
In sum, and for the avoidance of doubt, the following reflects the engagements and
actions taken in respect of the Saglemi Housing Project;
1) Both my predecessor and myself have repeatedly pledged the Government’s
intent to continue and complete the Saglemi Housing Project
2) By 2017, the Ministry of Works and Housing alleged anomalies in the execution
of the contract leading to a significant shortchanging of the state running into
the tens of millions of dollars.
3) The original output target of the Saglemi project of 5,000 units at a total cost
of US$200million as stipulated in the financing agreement presented to, and
approved by Parliament had surreptitiously, and drastically, reduced to 1,502,
of which 1,389 units had been completed without a commensurate reduction
in the overall loan financing. Currently, an amount of approximately,
US$197million representing 98 percent has been expended on 1,502 units as
against the planned 5,000 units.
4) Although the financing of the project had largely been exhausted, an initial
technical audit by the Ministry revealed the lack of primary infrastructure to the
Saglemi project site thus limiting the utility of the development. The key primary
infrastructure still outstanding include water supply and electricity.
5) The Ministry tasked the Ghana Institution of Surveyors to conduct a cost and
technical audit of the contract executed by the contractors in the context of
the variety of agreements and commitments made by the parties to the project.
Upon completion of the audit, the Ghana Institution of Surveyors estimated that
an approximate amount of US$32million would be needed to complete the
project.
6) The Ghana Institution of Surveyors identified several unmet activities that were
the responsibility of the Contractor, and a press conference was held to this
effect.
7) Based on the foregoing, and in view of the absence of the critical primary
infrastructure, the Ministry sort the advice of the Attorney General who
subsequently recommended for the issue to be referred to the Police CID for
criminal investigation.
 
 
8) However, having understood the complexity of the issues surrounding this
project, upon assumption of office as the sector Minister for Works and
Housing, I directed the Architectural and Engineering Services Limited, an
agency under my Ministry, to validate the report of the Ghana Institution of
Surveyors and advice accordingly.
9) As recent as 18th March 2021, I have personally visited the project site and have
acknowledged the urgent need to complete the project, notwithstanding the
complexities the project presents.
10)Several ideas and scenarios, including dedicating a section of the housing units
to the Armed Forces of Ghana, have been mooted and are being analysed.
11)A cursory inspection of the current state of development belies the fundamental
challenge of the absence of the primary infrastructure the site suffers, for which
reason a further investment is required.
12)As the country faces the ravages of the COVID-19 pandemic, public finances
are severely constrained, the Ministry acknowledges that completing the
development is not an easy or straight forward task.
13)These facts are not information exclusive to the Ministry and could easily be
found in the public domain due to the extensive news coverage the issue has
garnered over the past four years. For this reason, the Ministry finds this video
to be a grandstanding gesture laden with diabolical intent, to say the least.
14)The Ministry will ask the general public not to be wooed by the populist appeal
by the producers of the video in question to indulge in recklessness in the name
of forced occupation (of an incomplete development) since, in the absence of
the primary infrastructure, it has consequences for their own health and safety.
 
The public is assured that the Ministry commits to securing the resources for
completing the Saglemi Housing project, regardless of the outcome of the ongoing
criminal investigations.
 
 
 
The doors of the Ministry are open to all and we commit to engage with any entity or
entities willing to do so in truth, sincerity and fairness. We serve the cause of the
people of Ghana and we will not renege on that, so help us God.
 
-END-
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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