The National Service Secretariat (NSS) has said it has the capacity to handle the built industry and, therefore, can be considered in the construction of affordable houses for teachers.
In January this year, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo addressed the 6th quadrennial meeting of the Ghana National Association of Teachers (GNAT) and announced plans by the government to construct 10,000 affordable houses for teachers within the next two years.
The Executive Director of the NSS, Mr Osei Assibey Antwi, made this known during a working visit of the Minister of Education, Dr Yaw Osei Adutwum, to the head office of the NSS in Accra yesterday and said his outfit would be able to execute the project at a lower cost to the state when offered the opportunity.
The minister was at the secretariat to inspect some flats and office buildings put up by national service persons in the built industry.
Mr Antwi told the education minister that “we have a team that can put up these houses at an affordable cost. When it comes to building, I know one of the most expensive aspects is labour. Already we are paying for it through national service. We have a backlog of about 1000 service persons in the construction field who can take up any task you give to us.”
“MPs have a Common Fund. They can also give us contracts to build housing units and schools in their constituencies. The Ghana Education Trust Fund (GETFund) also spends a lot of money on classroom buildings but some of them are not in good shape. We are ready to take up these works when given the chance,” he added.
Mr Antwi further said that the secretariat had “personnel in the ICT department who are good and can take up the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) project as well. All that we need are laptops and the chance to show what we can do.”
Dr Adutwum commended the NSS for the strides made so far and said there was the need to get in touch with all partners and have a discourse on the way forward.
“If everything works out, we can have what we call low cost housing or affordable housing for teachers. From what I have gathered, the Forestry Commission is ready to give you some of their seized wood for you to use in your construction work. We will discuss more because I believe there will be something for us at the end. With minds, attitude and teamwork like this, I don’t understand why the country cannot do more - we can and we will,” he added.