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Business News of Monday, 25 April 2022


Allocate portions of your profit for mortgage finance - Mike Oquaye appeals to banks

Former Speaker of Parliament, Professor Aaron Mike Oquaye Former Speaker of Parliament, Professor Aaron Mike Oquaye

The Bank of Ghana and Ministry of Finance should instruct banks to allocate portions of their profits for mortgage finance, former Speaker of Parliament, Professor Aaron Mike Oquaye, has said.

The move, he said, would help reduce the housing deficit in the country.

The 2021 Housing and Population Census puts the country’s housing deficit at 1.8 million.

Prof Oquaye made the call during the inauguration of a 400-bed accommodation facility meant to reduce the housing deficit in the country.

The Knightsbridge gated community, located at Kwabenya in the Ga East Municipality, which is the phase one of the 1700 accommodation being built for middle and low income earners, was constructed by Rehoboth Properties Limited.

It has facilities such as market, pharmacy, basketball and tennis courts, gym, swimming pool, crèche, internet connectivity, water supply and security throughout the day and night.

As part of the inauguration, the company has arranged with Ecobank Ghana Plc to provide mortgage for people who want to purchase a house.

Prof Oquaye, who delivered the keynote address said the banks in the country made huge profits and repatriate same to their home country.

He said though it was not bad for banks to repatriate their profits, it was important the banks invested part of the profits in the market where they made the money.

Prof Oquaye said the government of Scandinavian countries instructed banks to reserve portions of their profits to provide soft loans to people who wanted to acquire their own houses and the Bank of Ghana and Ministry of Finance could do same.

The former Speaker of Parliament said the Knightsbridge housing model was critical to reducing the housing deficit and promoting the development of the country.

Prof Oquaye appealed to government to provide infrastructure across the country to motivate real estate developers to enter into the construction of affordable housing.

The Minister of Works and Housing, Francis Asenso-Boakye, in his address asked private developers to embrace the revised strategy of government in the provision of mass affordable housing to middle to low-income earning Ghanaians.

He said that due to the huge housing deficit in the country, the government had revised its strategy on affordable housing by providing free land banks with requisite infrastructure to the designated sites.

“Apart from the free land and infrastructure services to these sites, government is providing tax incentives to participating developers with the aim of making the cost of construction much lower, thereby making the houses truly affordable. I therefore charge all private developers, especially members of GREDA to collaborate with government in this cause,” Mr Asenso-Boakye added.

The Minister also commended Rehoboth Properties Limited for their contribution to the provision of affordable housing in Ghana with the opening of Knightsbridge Kwabenya.

The Chief Executive Officer of Rehoboth Properties Limited, Gideon AyikuAkrofi, said the Knightsbridge facility is to serve the people in the middle and lower end of the housing market.

He said his outfit was constructing similar facilities as Ayi-Mensah to help bridge the housing gap.

He appealed to the government to provide the necessary regular environment for the real estate sector to thrive, and said measures should be put in place to help reduce the increasing price of building materials.