Speaking on the floor of Parliament to update legislators on the state of the Saglemi Housing project, Atta Kyea said the government is committed to ensuring the homes are completed after completion of an audit into the alleged misappropriation of funds.
According to him, the Ministry of Water Resources, Works and Housing on January 4, 2013, signed an Engineering, Procurement and Construction Agreement with Messes Consrutora OAS Ghana Ltd to construct 5,000 affordable houses at a contract sum of US$200 million, after Parliamentary approval granted on October 31, 2012.
He stated that former Housing Minister, Collins Dauda by his authority reviewed the agreement with the Brazilian company to reduce the number of houses to be constructed to 1,502 housing units at the same contract sum of Ghc US$200 million.
Atta Kyea said "On the 21st day of December 2016, 14 days after President John Mahama has lost his position in the elections, the then Chief Director, Alhaji Ziblim Yakubu and the contractor reviewed the first amended and restated agreement and signed the Second and Restated Agreement in which the scope of the works was reduced to 1,024 instead of the Parliamentary approved 5000 housing units, 388 to be finished completely externally and 90 units to be left at foundation or lintel levels. This brings the total units to be constructed to 1, 502 units at a revised contract sum of US$ 181, 519, 000."
He added that the Chief Director of the Ministry of Works and Housing reviewed the Second amended restated agreement and signed the Third Amendment and Restated EPE Agreement to extend the period to December 2017, to allow the contractor to complete the project.
He said the scope in the Second and Restated Agreement was maintained but the contract price was reviewed further downwards to US$181, 018, 000.
He further stated that as soon as the ministry released a sum of US$80 million to the Brazilian contractor for mobilization when actual work had not started, the contractor transferred abroad US$ 40 million, which according to the minister led to the bankruptcy of the Saglemi Housing project.
"In accordance with articles 35 (7) of the Constitution, the Akufo-Addo government pledges to complete the botched Mahama Saglemi Housing project. When we surmount these challenges, we can positively inform this August House as to when my ministry will deliver the 5,000 housing units with full amenities for the benefit of our hard-working workers," the Minister noted.
Meanwhile, Speaker of Parliament, Mike Oquaye has directed a parliamentary probe into the alleged misappropriation of about $159 million meant for the Saglemi Housing project.
The Speaker noted that the Works and Housing Committee together with the leadership of the Prosecution and Legal Committee is to produce their findings within two weeks.