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President cuts sod for military housing project

BY: Donald Ato Dapatem
 President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo cutting the sod for the construction of a housing project at the Military Academy and Training School in Accra
President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo cutting the sod for the construction of a housing project at the Military Academy and Training School in Accra

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo yesterday cut the sod for the commencement of work on a $100-million military housing project and the reconstruction of the Ghana Military Academy in Accra.

The project, which will be completed within 36 months, includes 176 two-bedroom flats, 160 two-bedroom half-compound houses, a hostel with 240 self-contained rooms, a platoon commander’s block with four two-bedroom flats and a 650-capacity auditorium for the academy.

The rest are a one-storey classroom block, an administration block with 48 offices and conference rooms and a fence wall around the Military Academy at Teshie to be completed in June 2020.

Funding

President Akufo-Addo said the government, together with two companies, Poly Changda Oversees Engineering Company Limited and Poly Technologies of the People’s Republic of China, secured the $100-million facility for the project to help make up for the shortfall in accommodation in the academy.

He said in the government’s quest to deliver on its manifesto promise of providing decent accommodation for the security agencies in the country, it had embarked on some projects, since 2017, as part of a barracks regeneration policy.

The projects included the construction of 64 housing units for the Ghana Armed Forces (GAF), 16 of which had since been completed, he said.

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The rest were expected to be completed by the end of this year, he added.

The President said the government had also decided to construct 162 two-bed houses and 11 four-storey blocks of flats for the GAF across the country.

He noted that if efforts were not put in place to resolve Ghana’s two million housing deficit, the situation could present serious socio-economic ramifications for the country.

The President said the construction of 250,000 new affordable housing units in the country had commenced, adding that existing housing projects started by previous governments would also be worked on.

He further announced that a national housing and mortgage fund would soon be launched to leverage private capital investment in the housing industry.

Concerns

President Akufo-Addo expressed worry over the fact that “in this day and age, senior military officers are allocated residential accommodation or rooms originally reserved for junior officers, with the latter housed in worse conditions”.

According to him, the existing situation needed to be changed and emphasised that military personnel should be provided with better accommodation and also stationed in their respective barracks because soldiers must live within reach of the Military High Command for rapid deployment in times of emergencies.

He urged the contractors on the various projects to work diligently to ensure that work was completed on schedule and assured the officers and men of the GAF that the government would not relent in its effort to transform the GAF into a formidable institution.

Minister

The Minister of Defence, Mr Dominic Nitiwul, said it was the aim of the government to provide the military with decent accommodation and the required logistics to protect the territorial integrity of the country.