The Vice President, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, has commissioned the newly-constructed Naval Barracks at the Eastern Naval Command, Tema, which is Phase two of the Security Services Housing Project.

The barracks, made up of 23 blocks comprising a total of 368 apartments, is fully gated and out of the 23 blocks, 8 blocks are 3-bedroom flats and 15 blocks are 2-bedrooms flats. 

The project, fully financed by the Government of Ghana and constructed by Messrs Amandi Holdings Group at a cost of GH¢ 101.2 million, also comes with a multi-purpose sports facility and a playing ground for personnel and families.

Dr Bawumia said the completion of the project was another step in the overall development and modernisation of facilities for the Ghana Armed Forces as well as improvements in the Ghana Armed Forces' accommodation, saying it was necessary to ensure that the country had the best of facilities for all security personnel.

He noted that the completed units could not have come at a better time because housing was a basic human need and that the desire for a decent home was every human being’s dream and key to the overall development of any nation, as it impacted directly on the social, health and economic status of citizens. 

He disclosed that the NPP Government had a master plan anchored on government’s overall commitment to improving the living conditions of the security personnel and would soon roll out the National Barracks Regeneration Programme that would invest in the rehabilitation and upgrading of their living quarters across the country.

The Vice President assured the Security Services that the issues of accommodation were topmost on the priority list of the Akufo-Addo Government and that the Government had commenced discussions with Messrs Sinohydro Corporation Limited for the construction of 40,000 houses and court structures for the Ghana Armed Forces, Ghana Police Service, Ghana Prisons Service, Ghana Immigration Service, Ghana National Fire Service and the Judicial Service. 

Furthermore, he said, Government had also made considerable progress with Messrs Amandi Holdings to commence Phase III of the Security Housing Project for the Ghana Police Service.

On the general housing situation, Dr Bawumia said Government was working around the clock to reduce the housing deficit currently facing the country in excess of 1.7 million units, adding that it was expected to rise to 2 million by 2020 if swift measures were not taken. 

He mentioned the high cost of purchasing or renting a home, litigation over land ownership, high cost of building materials, high labour cost, high cost of finance, and lack of a realistic and reliable mortgage regime in the country as factors that accounted for the situation. 

He, however, assured Ghanaians that the Ministry of Works and Housing was working tirelessly to address the problems bedevilling housing delivery in the country.

The Deputy Minister for Works and Housing, Hon. Freda Prempeh, who read a speech on behalf of the sector Minister, said Government’s approach to helping Ghanaians meet their aspirations was to adopt a novel way for constructions of homes and instituting creative financing schemes geared towards improving overall affordability and access to decent homes for all working Ghanaians and their families in modern communities. 

She disclosed that in the medium-term, Government would put in place measures to continue work on 342 Government Affordable Housing Units in Koforidua, 200 units in Tamale and 144 units in Wa as well as 1500 units at Saglemi. 

The Deputy Minister added that in the long-term, Government would commence the construction of Affordable Housing Units in Bolgatanga, Cape Coast, Ho, Takoradi and Sunyani.

On his part, Hon. Dominic Nitiwul, Minister for Defence, expressed profound gratitude to both past and present governments, especially the Ministry of Works and Housing for the completion of the Naval Housing project, adding that the project would serve as a relief to the Ghana Navy.

Source: ISD (Zakari Musah )