Ghana: Press focuses on Works Ministry, private sector partnership in housing projects, others

The partnership between the Ministry of Works and Housing and the private sector to develop the Kumasi Affordable Housing Project…

The partnership between the Ministry of Works and Housing and the private sector to develop the Kumasi Affordable Housing Project and the commissioning of the office for the Coordinated Mechanism on the safety of Journalists by the government are some of the leading stories in the Ghanaian press on WednesdayThe Graphic reports that the Ministry of Works and Housing is partnering the private sector to develop the Kumasi Affordable Housing Project.

Already, the ministry has acquired a 200-acre plot at Dedesua in the Bosomtwe District in the region to start the project.

The Kumasi Affordable Housing Project is part of the government’s action to build affordable housing units to reduce the national housing deficit.

During an inspection tour of the project site at Dedesua yesterday, the sector minister, Mr Francis Asenso-Boakye, said even though the State Housing Company (SHC) would be the anchor developer, there would be other private developers.

He said the developers would be encouraged to use locally produced materials, including burnt bricks, to drastically reduce the cost of houses and make them truly affordable.

He said similar projects would be undertaken in Accra along the Amrahia area and in the Eastern Region close to Nsawam.

Mr. Asenso-Boakye said the government would support the private sector in the development of the affordable housing enclave by extending services such as water and electricity, and by also constructing the roads leading to the project sites.

The newspaper says that the government has commissioned the office for the Coordinated Mechanism on the safety of Journalists.

The office operated by the National Media Commission (NMC) was opened by Minister of Information, Mr. Kojo Oppong Nkrumah in commemoration of the 2021 World Press Freedom on Tuesday, May 4, 2021.

The office becomes the official source for filing complaints of attacks on journalists, validating alleged attacks, following up on investigations and sanctions and reporting on safety of journalists.

Cabinet approved the framework for safety in 2020 after the Ministry of Information submitted a memo to its effect.

The National Media Commission shall be the independent operator of the office as part of its efforts to promote the industry.

Mr Oppong Nkrumah urged journalists to take advantage of the facility in addressing pressing issues on the safety of journalists.

He said it was the big wish of government that the facility and its operations will grow beyond what it is today and be replicated in other regions.

The Graphic also reports that the pressure group OccupyGhana has faulted government’s approach to torch equipment seized at illegal mining sites, saying the method is a brazen illegality that should cease forthwith.

Again, the group says the failure of the security agencies to bring persons arrested for indulging in illegal mining (galamsey) to face the law undermines the whole exercise of fighting the menace.

Describing government’s attempts to fight galamsey as “epileptic and faltering”, OccupyGhana in a statement issued Tuesday, says the attempt “gives the impression that it is unwilling to follow and apply the law.”

According to OccupyGhana, the Minerals and Mining Act provides adequate sanctions, including fines and terms of imprisonment for infractions of the law, and is specific “that equipment used in any of these offences is required to be first seized and kept in police custody.

Then, when the person using the equipment for the illegal mining activity is convicted, the court will order the forfeiture of the equipment the state. Then the Minister has 60 days within which to allocate the equipment to a state institution. There is absolutely no legal room for simply torching the equipment. It is illegal and must stop forthwith.

The Times says that the National Sports Authority (NSA) has clarified that it paid air tickets for Ghana’s contingent submitted by the Ghana Athletics Association (GAA) for Ghana’s relay team to participate in the World Relay Championship in Poland.

This comes against allegations that the fastest sprinter, Josephine Anokye was snubbed because the GAA asked her to pay for her own flight and visa acquisition.

A statement from the NSA said that “the Ghana Athletics Association (GAA) submitted a list of 10 athletes to the NSA for consideration to be supported with air tickets to embark on the trip to Poland for the World Relays Championship.

“Upon receiving the request, the Authority made the necessary arrangements to secure the tickets for the team, a couple of days before the championship. In addition to that, the Ministry of Youth and Sports also supported the team with an amount of $10,000.00 (USD) to cover the per diem budget of the contingent.

“The GAA has since duly acknowledged the support from the NSA and the MoYS respectively. They have subsequently indicated to us that they arrived safely in Poland and took part in the championship.

“All this while, the NSA nor the MoYS did not receive any complaints from any athlete, until this issue of an aggrieved athlete surfaced in the media. The Authority wishes to emphasize that, tickets were made available to the contingent based on the request from the GAA and as such, had no hand in the selection process of the team to represent Ghana at the championship.”

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