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Government pushes for use of more local materials in housing, other infrastructure projects

Government is pushing for the use of more local materials in the construction of housing and other infrastructure projects in the country.

It has already directed District Assembles to use more local materials when it comes to provision of houses for various government workers and infrastructure projects partly financed by the government.

Minister for Works and Housing, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah disclosed this in an interview on PM Express Business edition with host, George Wiafe on Thursday, March 28, 2024.

The minister stated that “Government has started a District Housing programme and we are going to make sure that local  building materials are used, so that we can bring the cost of these developments down by some 30 percent.”

According to him, this is part of the government’s policy direction to help reduce the cost of these projects and make it affordable for Ghanaians.

According to Mr Nkrumah, the District Housing Programme, would go a long way to deal with the rural urban drift, as well as provide housing for public servants pushed into those areas to work .

Incentives for developers using local materials  and other technologies

“We are also looking at extending incentives to other private developers that are willing to implement government policy,”the Minister added.

The minister also revealed that,  developers with innovative technology that lowers costs for their developments could be eligible for government support.

“Government cannot do this alone and therefore there is the need to see how to partner the private sector in the provision of houses and projects in the country.

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The Minister added “Government is also pushing a General Housing initiative, where we can attract master developers who can do up to  5,000 housing units, then government will step in with the needed incentives.”

Government is also working on redeveloping the old housing units for the public sector to help deal with the housing deficit.

The Ministry of Works and Housings has also set up a General Housing Unit at the ministry that will coordinate with the private sector on how these incentives can be extended.

“When you go to these developed countries, there is always the deliberate attempt to bring on board private sector when it comes to the construction of these houses. We need to make the environment more conducive to attract the needed capital to develop the sector,” he said.

Taxing the real estate sector

Kojo Oppong Nkrumah revealed that he is currently engaging the Minister of Finance on how some of these taxes should be structured in order not to hurt these developers when it comes to the provision of affordable housing.

“Why are the projects and some of these buildings so high in Ghana, and one can talk about what goes into it”the minister noted.

“So you realize that the challenge with the cost of these housing is not just about the taxes, but sometimes the technology used,”he said.

“So government is looking at all these things when it comes to pushing for a review of some of these taxes on the sector, which could go a long way to reduce the cost.”

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The minister also added that, government is engaging the Ghana Association of Banks on how to reduce cost of credit for these developers.

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