The Minister for Works and Housing, Francis Asenso-Boakye, embarked a 2-day working tour to the Northern Region to inspect the progress of projects being undertaken by the Ministry and to have a fair understanding of the issues at hand.
Welcoming the Minister, the Northern Regional Coordinating Director, Alhassan Issahaku, on behalf of the Northern Regional Minister, Alhaji Shaini Shaibu, expressed gratitude to Asenso-Boakye for being the first Works and Housing Minister, in recent time, to visit and assess housing and drainage situations in the region.
The Regional Coordinating Director noted that the Minister’s working tour to the region offers some relief to the people of Tamale whose concerns on housing in particular have been profound lately.
Commencing the 2-day working visit in the company of the Deputy Minister for Works and Housing, Hon Abdulai Abanga, the Tamale Municipal Chief Executive (MCE), Sule Salifu, officials of the State Housing Company and the Ministry, Asenso-Boakye expressed satisfaction with the progress of work on the 24-Unit Apartment for the Ghana Immigration Service, which is being executed by the State Housing Company Limited.
The Minister indicated that this construction works and other housing developments across the country lend credence to government’s continuous commitment to provide decent accommodation for its public service workers.
The project, which is within schedule of 24-month completion period, is expected to bring relief to officers of the service who are posted to work in the region.
At the Tamale Affordable Housing Project Site, Asenso-Boakye expressed worry about the rate of encroachment on the land for the project. He admonished the Regional Coordinating Director and the Municipal Chief Executive to strengthen their engagements with the chief to forestall any further encroachment.
Currently the project sits on 94-acre land instead of the original 261 acres of land.
With a strategic new direction towards the provision of affordable houses for Ghanaians, the Minister said, the Ministry is poised to collaborate with the private sector to ensure there is a significant reduction in the national housing deficit. He emphasized the need to create jobs for local developers in Tamale and added that, this project creates the needed avenue to achieve this objective.
“Government’s focus is to increase the country’s housing stock by subsidizing the construction cost by 40% through the provision of lands, service amenities and infrastructure.” He added.
The Works and Housing Minister also assessed the state of the low-cost housing units built to provide accommodation to junior and senior public service workers in the regional capital. He was hopeful that the Ministry’s Redevelopment Projects, which ultimately optimizes the use of land in prime areas while increasing the housing stock, will be replicated in the region to further address the housing needs of the people of Tamale.