A consortium of local banks has raised $51 million towards the completion of the 200,000 Social Housing Units in Koforidua, Tamale and Ho, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo announced Thursday, in his third State of the Nation Address (SONA) to Parliament.
The Ministry of Works and Housing is also setting up a one billion Ghana cedi-Housing Fund to support low income earners to own housing units, the President said, and pledged his administration’s determination in ensuring value for money in the implementation of the project.
Land banks have been secured to aid in accessing local building materials for the housing project.
The Social Housing Units Project, was, however, started by the Kufuor Administration.
SONA, is in fulfilment of Article 67 of the 1992 Constitution, which stipulates that, “The President shall, at the beginning of each session of Parliament, and before the dissolution of Parliament, deliver to Parliament, a message on the State of the Nation.
In giving account of his stewardship, commitment and some pledges, the President has recounted many interventions and efforts being made by his Government to prosper the economy, improve the health of citizens, boost private sector profitability, ensure holistic education, ensure peace and democratic governance, among others.
Vice President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, Chief Justice Sophia Akuffo, First Lady Rebecca Akufo-Addo, Second Lady Samira Bawumia, Former President Jerry John Rawlings and wife Nana Konadu Agyemang Rawlings, former President John Dramani Mahama, Members of the Diplomatic Community, Justices of the Superior Courts, Service Commanders, Members of the Council State and Traditional Rulers, as well as head of public institutions graced the occasion.
There was a noticeable departure from the norm of the characteristic heckling of Presidents by Parliamentarians during such occasions; as it was later explained that the two sides had made a pact to give honour to any Head of State to would now deliver his SONA to the House.
President Nana Akufo-Addo acknowledged the restoration of peace in Dagbon and installation of new Ya-Na, and, thus, commended the Chairperson of the Eminent Chiefs, Otumfuo Osei II, for leading the peace process in resolving the protracted chieftaincy dispute.
The President said the Government was committed to equitable distribution of resources to key institutions across the country to support infrastructural development.
He commended the bi-partisan support towards the referendum of the creation of new regions and expressed optimism that, that support would be extended to the referendum on the election of Metropolitan, Municipal and District Chief Executives, in September this year.
The President said while the country was exiting the International Monetary Fund (IMF) programme in April, this year, the country would remain disciplined in its fiscal management so that the nation would not return to the path of IMF conditionality.
In that regard, he said, the Government had passed the Fiscal Responsibility Law and established Fiscal Advisory Council to advise it on the fiscal management of the economy, while the budget deficit had been capped at five per cent of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
The President said his government was bent on running a responsible administration without looking at the next election.
Since the introduction of the mobile phone renewal of the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) in January, this year, about 70,000 subscribers had renewed their NHIS cards every week through the new system, he noted.
He underscored the need for Ghanaians to eat healthy diets, exercise regularly, and ensure regular medical check-ups to stay healthy.
The President also addressed wide range of issues, including agriculture, infrastructural development and some of the flagship programmes being implemented by the Government.
These include the Free Senior High School, Planting for Food and Jobs, One-District, One Factory, which he said, were progressing steadily.