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Regional News of Tuesday, 17 March 2015

Source: The Chronicle

Otumfuo makes strong case for local contractors

Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, the Asantehene, has called for the empowerment of locally-based construction firms in order to enhance their capacity as well as improve the economy of the country.

The Asantehene observed that indigenous construction firms have the capacity to compete favourably with their international colleagues and must, therefore, be given the needed support and encouragement to do so.

According to him, apart from improving the economy of the country through the domestic recycling of cash, the engagement of local construction firms would also serve as the avenue for job creation thereby ensuring that more Ghanaian youth are employed.

Otumfuo Osei Tutu II made the call when he officially commissioned The Prabon Greenfields Project, a housing programme he initiated last year to provide quality Real Estate Accommodation facility for the working class in the Ashanti Region and beyond.

The Asantehene, in his address, also reiterated the call for more private participation in the provision of housing facility for Ghanaian workers in order to complement the effort of the government.

He noted that government alone cannot shoulder the responsibility of providing decent accommodation facility for the larger citizenry hence the need for private participation in order to fill the void left by government.

The Prabon Greenfields Project was initiated by the Asantehene in partnership with Israeli investors, Vital Capital Group, to provide decent and relatively affordable housing facility for first and middle class workers, such as Doctors, Lecturers, Professors, Lawyers, etc.

The project, which aims at addressing the shortage of urban housing in the country is made up of the construction of a high-quality integrated, environmentally friendly 500-unit housing and community services such as day care, schools, health services and nature preservation solutions.

It followed a visit by the Asantehene to Israel in 2012 at the invitation of a former Israeli Ambassador, Yehuda Avner, during which he established a link with Group Chairman of Vital Capital, Eytan Stibbe, who agreed to invest in Ghana’s urban housing sector. The project is currently being undertaken by CONSAR Ghana Limited, a renowned Ghanaian-based construction company.

The commissioning of the project also marked the official launch of the sale of the facility to the public. Otumfuo, therefore, said the challenge was now for the Ghanaian businessmen and women, particularly those from the Ashanti Region, to seize the opportunity and help sustain the concept by patronising the facility. He added that: “the days that you have to look at East Legon or Trassaco for decent accommodation is now over, because you have got it right here under your nose.”

His Royal Majesty further expressed the optimism that his quest to develop the Asante Kingdom would be adequately enhanced since many more businessmen would be willing to relocate from Accra to Kumasi.

“This will present a very good opportunity for the people of the region. Currently, an ultra-modern shopping mall is on-going under my initiative and just a few months ago I commissioned the renovation of the Kumasi Airport. All these are meant to enhance business activities in the region,” the Asantehene emphasized.

The Group Chairman of Vital Capital, Eytan Stibbe, on his part said the Prabon Project was the first housing construction project to be designed from the very first step as an integrated, environmentally friendly community, which will set the standard for housing development in Ghana.

He said the project also conformed to the Sustainable Community concept which emphasizes sensitivity to environmental and social needs.