Whatsup News can confirm that within a timeframe of five months, the Ministry of Works and Housing headed by Samuel Atta Akyea has signed four mega housing contracts valued at a staggering US$ 81 billion for the construction of approximately 2.2 million housing units.
This incredible figure is over 150 % more than Ghana’s entire Gross Domestic Product (GDP) which stood at US$ 65 billion in 2018.
In leaked documents intercepted by Whatsup News, these contracts have been awarded to four companies, including some alleged to be linked to personalities associated with some top guns in the Akufo Addo administration.
The latest leaked document shows that in December 2018, the Minister of Housing signed a contract worth US$ 44 billion with an Accra-based company called Safi Properties Limited to build one million houses.
The remaining three contracts have gone to an Ireland-based company called Africa Investment Construction Limited to construct 100,000 houses for US$ 4.5 billion. The second one went to Greenspan Innovations Solutions Limited and Austrian-based Global Housing Solutions to construct 1 million houses for US$ 35 billion.
The last controversial contract was awarded to Othniel Limited whose project name sounds curiously similar to the name of the law firm of the Minister of Housing Atta Akyea. The project is dubbed Project Zoe. Meanwhile, Atta’s Akyea’s law firm is called Zoe Akyea & Co Legal Practitioners.
That project was to deliver 20,000 houses at a cost of almost US$1 billion. The second contract is the US$4.5 billion signed with the Irish company.
A statement released by the housing ministry in response to the revelations confirmed that indeed such contracts exist, saying they are however subject to final approvals by the Akufo Addo cabinet and Parliament.
“For the avoidance of doubt, the said contracts will only become effective upon the fulfilment of conditions including the necessary authorisations and approvals by the Government of Ghana; the readiness of the project site to meet all conditions of the contract,” the Ministry’s statement explained, saying the contracts will be closed if financial obligations are not reached.
Despite these explanations, critics have wondered the rationale of signing such mega housing projects when the government had not made any attempt to continue housing projects started by two previous administrations that are currently rotting away.
Also, the motive for signing off US$ 80 billion within an average of 20 years when attempts to seek financing a US$ 50 billion 100-year bond to finance the entire infrastructure of the country is proving difficult to realise.
Even though Ghana is estimated to have up to 2million housing deficit, critics have questioned where the government intends to find the necessary lands to build over 2 million houses across the country within 20 years.
Others have questioned the curious silence around these contracts. For over nine months since the contracts have been signed, it has not gone for Parliamentary scrutiny nor has received any known executive approval.