Mr. Samuel Atta-Akyea, Minister of Works and Housing, has revealed that government has put together a road-map to provide permanent infrastructure solution to the perennial flooding in Accra.
He explained that because the capital expenditure for the provision of the drainage and sewage to fix the recurring floods are beyond the national budget, there is the need to seek external help to address the problem.
Mr. Atta-Akyea made the revelation on the second day of debate on the 2018 budget statement in Parliament.
Mr. Ken Ofori-Atta, Minister of Finance on November 15, 2017, presented the government’s 2018 Budget Statement and Economic Policy to Parliament.
The budget highlighted results from the government’s policy programmes over the past few months and announced the government’s planned developmental programs for the next fiscal year.
Among the major programs to be rolled out by the government in 2018, are a proposed 13 percent reduction in electricity tariff for residential consumers, the establishment of nation-building corps and operationalization of the special prosecutors’ office.
Mr. Atta-Akyea also stated that the perennial flooding situation in the capital over the years has become an embarrassment to the country.
He stated that a lot investors have shown interest by investing in the housing sector of the country.
He however noted that government was considering using the Pension Fund to build houses for workers, after which they would be given mortgage to pay for the houses.
Mr. Emmanuel Kwesi Bedzra, Ranking Member on Works and Housing in his contribution on the floor of Parliament, chastised the NPP government for reducing the budgetary allocation to the Ministry of Works and Housing in the 2018 budget.
He said if the government wants the economy to grow and create jobs as they claim, then they must invest in infrastructure.
He cited for example that government in the 2018 budget has allocated GH?1.9 billion for government machinery, and only Gh?1.3 billion for infrastructure, and noted that government was not serious about creating jobs for the people.
Mr. Bedzra also stated that, most housing projects which were completed in 2017 were a result of the 2016 budget allocations under the NDC administration, and that the NPP government has not done any new projects.
He said most of the projects such as the sea defence wall along the country’s coast were initiated by NDC under the 2016 budget, is the only project that was carried out and nothing was added in the 2017 budget.
He said even in the 2018 budget, the government is still not adding any new project, but would only be completing what was started in 2016.
Mr. Bedzra also stated that, when it comes to educational infrastructure, the NPP government did not add anything to existing structures in the 2017 budget, but would only be completing the school infrastructure projects initiated by the President Mahama administration.
He, therefore, questioned the NPP’s mantra of “Putting Ghana back to work” as a hoax.