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Business News of Monday, 25 February 2008

Source: GNA

Financial constrain affecting Housing Project

Accra, Feb. 25, GNA - Mr Abubakar Saddique Boniface, Minister of Water Resources, Works and Housing, on Monday attributed the slow pace of work on the Affordable Housing Project to financial constraints on the Highly Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) Fund.

He said the Ministry was, therefore, hoping to secure additional 108 million Ghana cedis from alternative sources in the financial market in March to speed up the Project.

In a meeting with consultants and contractors of the Project in Accra, Mr Boniface described as misconception, some media reports and information that the Ministry had refused to provide the needed funds, resulting in most contractors abandoning the sites. He stated that the Ministry would, in no way hoard the funds; rather the time-bound nature of the HIPC Fund and how the budgetary system operated were affecting the disbursement of the funds. Mr Boniface explained that the Ministry was not given the exact budgetary allocation for the project and as such was overstretched to use the funds available to execute the projects.

He therefore called for the cooperation of all contractors as the Ministry worked to pool resources to fund the Project. Mr Boniface said over 40 million Ghana cedis had been spent on the Project so far at Borteyman; Kpong; Asokore Mampong; Koforidua and Tamale and hinted that the Government had provided 2.5 million Ghana Cedis for payment to the contractors and would be released to them as soon as possible.

The contractors called for a revision of conditions and terms of the project to save them from investing at a loss.

According to them, supply of building materials were often delayed and the requirements for top quality building materials did not commensurate with the affordability concept of the project.