The Ghana Government and Management of Korean Construction Firm STX, on Monday signed two agreements for commencement of the construction of 30,000 housing units for the first phase of a proposed 200,000 units for the next five years.
They are Suppliers Credit and Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC).
Dr Kwabena Duffuor, Minister of Finance and Economic Planning assisted by Mrs Betty Mould-Iddrisu, Attorney General and Minister of Justice, signed the Suppliers Credit Agreement for Ghana. Mrs Mould-Iddrisu also assisted Mr Alban Sumana Kingsford Bagbin, Minister of Water Resources, Works and Housing to sign the EPC.
Mr Duk-Soo Kung, Chairman of STX Group and Mr Bernard Asamoah, STX Representative in Ghana, signed for the firm.
The first phase of the project, estimated at about GH¢1.5 billion, would provide housing units for the security services and set a solid foundation for the remaining 60,000 lots of Government housing, and 110,000 for the public.
Under the deal, contracts for construction of the units would be awarded to Ghanaian companies engaged in the execution of the project.
A Ghanaian mortgage financing company, HFC would manage 110,000 units of the housing project.
Ghana’s housing deficit now stands at over one million.
“As a country now enjoying middle income status, our built environment from residential and commercial to leisure leaves much to be desired,” Mr Bagbin said.
He said government had to embark on some measures to drastically roll-back the huge housing deficit, and one of the measures was a review of the National Housing Policy to make it more relevant and focused especially the lower end of the housing market.
Mr Bagbin said government would facilitate and support the private sector to participate more actively in the provision of adequate residential and commercial housing infrastructure.
He emphasized that government was committed to the use of local content to promote “Made in Ghana Houses”, job creation and reduce the high cost of building and construction generally.
Under the EPC, Mr Bagbin announced that government had undertaken the Joint Venture and Off-Taker Agreement to design, execute, and complete the works, and to remedy the defects there-in in conformity with the best international practice for the sum of 1.3 billion dollars, excluding applicable tax.
He announced some safeguards such as monthly reports to be prepared and submitted by the contractor STX E&C, a subsidiary of the firm to the Ministry, value for money audit and in addition, obtain performance security from a reputable local insurer or financial institution in Ghana.
The contractor shall also provide samples of materials to be used for the project by inspection and approval by the Ghana Standards Board or any other body in Ghana before usage.
Dr Duffuor commended all who supported the project and noted that the financial viability was assured.
He said the Ministry would monitor the project carefully to ensure that Ghana had value for money.
Mrs Mould-Iddrisu said “she is proud to be a member of an administration that is moving the Better Ghana Agenda forward”.
She admitted that “the process has not been easy but it is worth the fight. We needed to get it right; I have gone through the documentation and have got it”.
Mrs Mould-Iddrisu commended Parliament, Ministries of Water Resources, Works and Housing and Justice for an excellent job, adding “remembering that we are accountable and have done it in the best of faith. We are proud of this historic exercise”.
Mr Duk-Soo, said “All of Africa and the world are looking at us with amazement and expectation. Today would be remembered as a historical moment when Ghana’s prosperity and development become a reality”.
He said the joint effort would go beyond mere cooperation among the Ministries of Water Resources, Works and Housing, Finance, and STX and would trigger inter-governmental cooperation between Ghana and Korea towards the dream of better quality of life for the people.
“We would strive to ensure that this landmark project would, in turn, lead to the establishment of major industrial infrastructure to include engineering plants, manufacturing, port facilities, and appeal for support,” he added.