By: Michael Ahinsah
The Secretary-General for National Tenants Union of Ghana (NATUG), Mr. Frederick Opoku, has berated the government for its inability to build more affordable houses to solve the issue of accommodation in Ghana.
Mr. Opoku disclosed that the Tenants Union of Ghana is in disagreement with the government and is ready to contest the government’s attempt to sell the Saglemi Housing Project to private investors.
The Minister for Works and Housing, Hon. Francis Asenso-Boakye (MP) announced Government’s decision to explore the possibility of selling the Saglemi Housing Project, covering the 1,506 housing units, at the current value to a private sector entity to complete and sell at no further cost to the State.
Mr. Opoku believes the government is more capable of raising the funds needed to complete the project than relying on a single individual to complete the building single-handedly.
“Is it not also a cause of their negligence as a government to complete Saglemi and give it for people to rent. what is more insulting to what they are attempting do has to do with when they say they will give it to a private man. Government cannot get 46 million to fix drainage to put the light in order but rather give it to a private individual who must go and search for 46 million, come, finish it and selll it how much he wants to sell it.
“In fact, the Tenants Union is in disagreement with it, and we are about to petition. In fact, cabinet, they should stop the ministry, stop the government from entering into Saglemi, and give it to a private individual so that at least we can still finish with it” he stressed.
In an interview on GBC’s Uniiq Breakfast Drive, Mr Opoku described the National Rental Assistance Scheme initiative as “Lazy Jerk” approach to solving the problem of rent, explaining that granting rent loans to people is only solving the problem partially.
“Now we are here talking about rent advance, giving loans instead of government getting to building houses. For me it is somehow a lazy jerk appraoch and simple way of solving problems. However, though we agree the scheme is good, we think that they should build more and that is the panacea not giving loans to people. It is partly going to solve the problem but not exhaustive”, he opined.
The government launched the National Rental Assistance scheme on Tuesday, January 31, 2023 at the Accra International Conference Centre to facilitate accessibility and affordability in rental housing to eligible Ghanaians.
The scheme has received over 600 applications since the launch on Tuesday.