Housing loan scheme for Ghana public servants in crisis

The Public Servants’ Housing Loan Scheme established in March 1975, to assist public servants with housing loans is hit by financial constraints.
“Currently, the scheme has not got more than GH¢30,000.00 in its accounts, meaning more applicants would have to join the queue for years before they could be giving something to support their projects.”
Mr. Solomon Bonney, Acting Executive Secretary of the Scheme announced this on Wednesday when he appeared before the Parliamentary Public Accounts Committee to answer questions on some recommendations made by the Auditor- General.
The Committee which began sitting on Wednesday would among other things deliberate on the management of Ghana Police residential accommodation, accountability arrangements in solid waste management, management of human resources for effective Primary Health Care Delivery and business registration in Ghana.
The 25-member Committee consists of 13 from the majority and 12 from the minority with Mr. Albert Kan Dapaah as its Chairman.
Mr. Bonney said although the scheme had over the years budgeted for GH¢ 400,000.00 annually, its allocation had never exceeded GH¢ 200,000.00 and appealed to the government to consider increasing allocation to his outfit to enable it to support more Public Servants.
He said lack of funds had reduced the scheme to middlemen or agents who had   to liaise with the Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT) to acquire housing facilities for some applicants who had sought for loans for several years.
The Acting Executive Secretary said an average of GH¢ 1,000.00, which was given to applicants between 2008 and this year, was mockery as the amount could not even pay for the cost of building foundation.
Mr. Albert Abongo, Minister of Works and Housing in reaction said the Board of Directors of the scheme would soon be reconstituted to come out with workable strategies to revamp the system to become useful to public servants.
He said it was unfortunate that the scheme established 34 years ago was still not benefiting the people it was meant for and gave the assurance that it would be recapitalized to support public servants to acquire loans in the coming years.
Mr. Kan Dapaah, commended the Audit Service for coming out with challenges facing the scheme.
“I am sure that, but for your revelation, a lot of my committee members would not even be aware that such a facility was existent.”
He urged those who would be part of the reconstituted Board of the scheme to work out all the cumbersome procedures that frustrate public servants from applying for the facility.
“It is a very useful scheme and I hope that the Ministry of Works and Housing will consider it as a priority so that more public servants could benefit from it before their retirement,” he said.

Source: GNA

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