Former Works and Housing Minister, E. T. Mensah has expressed surprise at some comments made in defence of the NDC administration’s handling of the controversial Saglemi Housing project.
This follows a statement by the party’s National Communications Officer, Sammy Gyamfi that the project was to be executed in phases.
In a lengthy write up shortly after news broke that the Attorney-General, Godfred Dame has filed charges against 5 persons including two former Ministers under the NDC administration for causing financial loss to the state, Mr. Gyamfi argued that E. T. Mensah’s successor, Collins Dauda, did nothing wrong.
According to him, Mr. Dauda could not be totally blamed for some measures put in place by Mr. Mensah who had informed Parliament that the housing units will not be built at a go.
“It is instructive to note that the Minister of Works and Housing at the time, Honorable. E. T. Mensah informed Parliament during the debate on the approval of the loan facility that the 5000 housing units will not be built at a go, but rather over a period of time, that is, in phases.”
He also explained that the $200 million credit facility secured for the project did not cover sewage and other ancillary works needed for the housing units.
“Under the Works Agreement, government was supposed to provide a serviced plot of land with roads, water, electricity, drains, sewage systems and other ancillary facilities for the smooth takeoff of the project, the cost of which had not been factored into the amount of $US200 million approved by Parliament for the project.”
“Since government did not have any funds to fall on to discharge these responsibilities, the decision was taken by the Ministry to use part of the approved amount of the project (US$200 million) for all the necessary ancillary works to pave way for the construction of the housing units and to make the project site a commercially viable and habitable community.
“This is what informed the decision by the Ministry to do the project in phases, as the Minister, Honourable. E. T. Mensah had already intimated to Parliament. Clearly, the 5,000 houses could not be built at a go.
But E. T Mensah disagrees with this version of events.
Speaking to host of Good Evening Ghana on Metro TV, Paul Adom Otchere, Mr. Mensah said anyone who claims the $200 million dollars loan agreement did not cover ancillary works does not know what he is talking about.
On whether the project was to be executed in phases, the former Minister described the statement as a lie.
“It is a lie. I was not into any phases. We knew that we wanted to build, that is 5,000 houses to be built for workers, and it was approved; executive approval was given and parliament approved it, so if anything at all, If I wanted to change something, I had to go through the same process again,” he said.
He explained that the project was to be executed in one phase.
“How can people lie like this?”, he quizzed