The Vice-President, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia yesterday inaugurated the Phase ll of the security services housing scheme in Tema, giving an assurance that the government is determined to continue infrastructure projects began by previous administrations.
He said the continuation of such projects would ensure Ghanaians enjoyed the full benefits of such expenditure.
The government, he added, would also revive projects begun by the Kufuor administration but abandoned by the Mills and Mahama governments, especially housing projects, in order to address the country’s housing deficit.
The housing deficit is said to be in excess of 1.7 million units and is expected to rise to two million by 2020 if swift measures are not taken.
Started in 2014 at the Eastern Naval Command in Tema New Town, the fully gated barracks is made up of 23 blocks that comprise 368 apartments.
Out of the 23 blocks, eight blocks are three-bedroom flats and 15 blocks are two-bedrooms flats.
The facility also comes with a multi-purpose sports facility and a playing ground for personnel and families of the security services.
The housing scheme is the first planned naval barracks in Ghana, and will go a long way to address the accommodation challenges of the Ghana Navy, which is the only service within the Ghana Armed Forces which does not have a well-planned barracks.
This unfortunate situation has compelled most naval personnel to stay in rented civilian accommodation scattered all over Accra and Tema.
A big downside of the situation is that it makes it difficult for the Ghana Navy to mobilise personnel at short notice to respond to emergencies, and undermines its operational effectiveness.
Vice-President Bawumia called for continuity in the execution of government projects, saying Ghanaians were the ultimate losers of such decisions.
“I recall that this project was started in 2014 under the previous government, and it was at a cost of GH¢101 million.
When we came into office, the amount outstanding for completion of the project was GH¢45 million and thanks to the pressure put on the Minister of Finance by the Minister for Defence and the Minister for Works and Housing, the government made payment of about GH¢38 million in December, and I think the rest will be done soon.
“Thankfully the project was not abandoned and we have to make sure that this is the way governance continues. As the President has said, when one government starts a project, the next one should not abandon it; it should try and complete it,” the Vice-President said.
Unfortunately, he said, similar affordable housing projects in Wa, Tamale, Koforidua and Asokore Mampong initiated by the Kufuor administration in 2007 have all been all abandoned, “but we are going to re-initiate all these projects and make sure they are completed,” he added.
Vice-President Bawumia assured the security services of government’s commitment to provide them with decent accommodation in order to ensure their operational efficiency.
“We are currently engaged in discussions for the construction of about 10,000 houses and court structures for the Ghana Armed Forces, Ghana Police Service, Ghana Prisons Service, Ghana Immigration Service, Ghana National Fire Services and the Judicial Service,” he added