Former Public Works and Housing Minister ET Mensah has denied claims that Saglemi’s controversial $200 million housing project was to be carried out in phases.
The Council of State member told Paul Adom-Otchere on Accra-based Metro TV’s Good Evening Ghana on Tuesday, August 3, 2021: “I have not been involved in any phasing scheme.”
“We knew we wanted to build – that’s 5,000 houses to be built for the workers – and that was approved,” he said.
According to him, “the executive approval was given and the parliament approved it, so if anything, if I wanted to change anything, I had to go through the same process again.”
Recently, former housing minister Collins Dauda was accused of causing financial loss to the state in the Saglemi housing project.
The opposition politician is accused of intentionally embezzling the project amount of $200 million “by causing the said amount, which had been approved by the parliament of Ghana for the construction of 5,000 housing units, to be applied payment for 1,412 units under the Saglemi Affordable Housing Project.
Last year, Mr. Dauda’s successor, Mr. Samuel Atta Akyea, disclosed that all former officials and officials involved in the Saglemi housing project were under investigation by the Criminal Investigation Department of the Ghana Police Service.
Mr. Atta Akyea, who described the project as a scam, noted that it was not worth the cost supposedly invested in it.
Mr. Atta Akyea disclosed this while addressing the parliamentary press on Thursday, October 8, 2020.
He also condemned the habit of new governments to halt projects launched by previous administrations.
“Regarding Kufuor’s unfinished housing structures, it is clear that the Mills government and the Mahama government have not pursued it. Then I was faced with this jejou argument that we dropped Saglemi. I say, ‘no, we haven’t abandoned Saglemi,’ the minister said.
Mr. Atta Akyea further noted that the Mahama-led administration had defrauded the country in carrying out the project.
He said, “Saglemi is tainted with embezzlement.”
“There is no doubt about it, and I could tell you that the Ghana Institution of Surveyors has released a conclusive report that Saglemi is a scam and the amount of money that was blown from Saglemi is over 100 million dollars and the housing structures there are not worth the money they have raised,” he said.
“So, I’m not here to embarrass anyone; I’m here to say if you haven’t gotten into the legal stuff, how can you go on? So now that we have handed over the Ghana Institution of Surveyors report to the CID, now we can deal with the matter to proceed,” he added.
Mr. Atta Akyea noted at the time that: “We are working to resolve the Saglemi issue; it is not abandoned. It gives no credit to this nation.
“They invited several of them, including the Honorable Collins Dauda. They invited them, but you see how civil the NPP is; we don’t do it as a drama, so the police take care of them. We’re not going to parade people around like, ‘Look how they arrested this man or they arrested that one.
“That’s what civility is. You’re not trying to embarrass someone because you think they’ve been investigated by the police. Eventually the police might say they have nothing against the person and you would have embarrassed them”.
“So all these people who were involved in Saglemi, they started inviting them over. I tell you and even the people who work in my ministry, they have started to invite them. So, the investigations are ongoing, let the police do their job. There is no propaganda or party issues about theft, theft is theft,” the minister added.