Government addressing Ghana’s housing deficit, says Akufo-Addo

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, has stated that his administration is implementing a comprehensive urban development strategy aimed at addressing the country’s housing deficit.

He made the assertion when he addressed attendees of a ceremony to commission a newly constructed police barracks at Kwabena, a suburb in the Greater Accra Region.

The new Police Barracks forms part of measures to re-develop the 80 acres of land around the Kotoka International Airport into a modern commercial hub.

To this end, the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources in collaboration with Ministry of Interior, constructed the ultramodern Police Barracks at Kwabenya with related facilities for relocation of the Ghana Police Service at Airport to the new facility.

Housing deficit
In his address, President Akufo-Addo noted that “It is estimated that Ghana’s urban population will reach 72% by 2035. This represents a unique challenge as well as an opportunity to develop innovative solutions to the growing demand for housing, infrastructure and public housing services in the [country’s] major cities”.

“To address this challenge, government has been working tirelessly to implement a comprehensive urban development strategy which includes the construction of affordable housing units, the expansion of transportation networks, and the upgrading of public facilities such as school, hospitals and police stations.

“We have made considerable strides in this respect. Since 2017, we have launched several initiatives aimed at addressing Ghana’s housing deficit which currently stands at some two million units.

“Despite these measures, rapid urbanisation continues to put immerse pressure on our land resources. This has led to the degradation of some of our prime lands, particularly in urban areas” President Akufo-Addo said.

“It is therefore of utmost importance that we prioritise the optimal use of our land resources.

“That is why government through the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources, and the Lands Commission has embarked on an ambitious urban renewal programme aimed at redeveloping prime areas in major cities across the country.

“[This includes] the Kumasi sector 18, Marine Drive Tourism Development Project, and the Takoradi Breach Road Redevelopment Scheme amongst others” Akufo-Addo added.

State-of-the-art facility
Turning his attention to the new Police Barracks, President Akufo-Addo, indicated the facility which he is commissioning “is the outcome of one such urban renewal programme; the Aviation City Redevelopment Project at the airport enclave”.

“It is to pave way for this redevelopment that these state-of-the-art facilities have been constructed through a public-private partnership with Unique Development company for our hardworking men and women of the Ghana Police Service.

“The facility is made up of 514 one and two bedroom self-contain flats of which 322 have been completed and ready for occupation. These units are fitted with modern facilities and will serve as comfortable homes and afford a conducive working environment for police officers and their families” President Akufo-Addo said.

“In addition to the residential accommodation, this project also provides a school with modern facilities, a clinic, an astroturf football field, a tennis court, a stand by generator, a police station, a fuel filling station, a workshop enclave and other essential amenities.

“This is further testimony of our unwavering commitment to provide decent accommodation and other facilities for our security personnel. Not only will this facility improve the welfare of police officers, they will also enhance their capacity to serve our nation even more effectively” the President added.

Second phase
President Akufo-Addo further pointed out that the three institutions that partnered to execute the first phase of the project must do everything within their power to complete the second phase as well.

“As we commission the first phase of this project, I urge the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources, the Lands Commission and Unique Development Company to work in earnest and complete the remaining 192 housing units and other facilities that make up the second phase of the project” Akufo-Addo remarked.

Relocation/ re-development
The Minister for Lands and Natural Resources, Samuel Abu Jinapor, in his statement noted that several police installations located at the current airport police station are to be relocated to the new facility which has been built at Kwabenya to free up the land for re-development.

The installations he indicated will include “the barracks with primary and junior high schools, mobile force quarters, rapid deployment force, national protection unit, fuel depot and workshop”.

“Other occupants in the area include the band trooping army of the Ghana Armed Forces, the West African Examination Council (WAEC), the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Authority (DVLA), Ghana Airport Company Limited (GACL) and the Ghana Metrological Agency (GMA)” Abu Jinapor said.

Determined to maintain facility
Inspector General of Police, Dr. George Akuffo Dampare, in his statement, assured the President that under his watch, together with his colleagues, will ensure that the facility is maintained within a framework of high maintenance standards.

He registered the appreciation of the Police Service for the facility but went on to request the president and his government to consider doing similar projects at Accra Central, Kumasi Central, Tamale, and Tema metropolitan area.

“We give you Mr President, the assurance that my colleagues and I, working in partnership with other security agencies that we will never sleep, we will never rest until this country is at peace with itself” the IGP stated.

SOurce: citinews


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