The government is to establish a National Homeownership Fund (NHF) to provide mortgage to address the housing deficit in the country.
Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta, who disclosed this yesterday when he presented the 2022 budget statement and economic policy of government to Parliament, said the scheme would initiate a programme to subsidise the acquisition of land in some selected areas of the country.
The 2022 budget, the second to be presented to Parliament by the ruling government is christened “Agyenkwa Budget,” to wit “The Saviour Budget.”
It is on the theme “Building a sustainable entrepreneurial nation: Fiscal consolidation and job creation.”
He said on the supply side, government would collaborate with traditional authorities and districts to provide: land to developers; and tax incentives and exemptions.
Mr Ofori-Atta said the NHF would support Real Estate Investment Trust and promote Rent-to-Own Schemes in the country.
“To scale up, we commenced engagements with Participating Financial Institutions (PFIs) to promote residential rent-to-own schemes and to support the development of a private sector mortgage refinancing institution. With the support of the “Obaatan Pa” programme, the National Homeownership Fund (NHF) is facilitating the use of innovative products to tap into pension funds and other long-term funds to support homeownership in Ghana,” he said.
Ghana’s housing deficit is in excess of two million and more than 200,000 houses would have to be built in the next 10 years to address the deficit.
Mr Ofori-Atta said the ruling government had introduced more social intervention schemes more than any other government since 1992.
He mentioned some of the interventions as the Free Senior High programme, reduction in electricity tariffs, free water for households from April to June in 2020, doubled the Capitation Grant (from GH¢4.5 to GH¢10), established the Nation Builders Corps (NABCO) of 100,000 graduates to build the job skills of our graduates to be absorbed into the workforce.
The others, he mentioned were the stop in the freeze on recruitment in the public sector with over 295,000 people recruited, abolished fees for postgraduate medical training in Ghana, increased the share of the District Assembly Common Fund to persons with disabilities by 50 per cent, exempted Kayayei from market tolls, expanded the Livelihood Empowerment Against Poverty by 150,000 beneficiaries, expanded School Feeding from 1.6 million children to 2.1 million children, and also increased the amount spent on each child by 25 percent.
On road sector, the Minister of Finance said at the end of September 2021, routine maintenance was carried out on 21,165kilometres of the trunk road network, 6,265km of the feeder road network, and 2,937km of the urban road network.
He said development works progressed steadily on several major projects, pointing out that the thePokuase Interchange under the Accra Urban Transport Project which involves the construction of a 4-tier interchange, construction of 12km of selected roads, segregated walkways, footbridges, underpasses and drainage structures was completed and commissioned on July 9, 2021.
“Major pipeline projects that are expected to take off in 2022 include Accra-Kumasi dualisation (in sections), Kumasi South and Western Bypass, Kumasi Outer Ring Road, Mamfe-Koforidua Road, Oyibi-Dodowa-Somanya-AkuseJunction road, Accra Outer Ring Road, Asutuare Junction-Volivo Bridge, Eastern Corridor Road (Gbintiri-Kulungugu), Sawla-Wa Road, Construction of five Interchanges in the Greater Kumasi Metropolitan Area (including Suame, Santasi and Airport Roundabout),” he said.
On health, the Finance Minister said government has rolled-out an aggressive vaccination programme to protect Ghanaian lives from COVID-19. Sustained efforts have seen about two million Ghanaians receiving a single dose, with 825,706 fully vaccinated as at September 2021.
He said government would not relent until the goal of vaccinating 20 million Ghanaians was attained.
“Mr Speaker, in line with the vision to improve equitable access to health facilities, the Government will accelerate the implementation of the Agenda 111 Project comprising 124 district hospitals, seven regional hospitals and three psychiatric hospitals. Cadastral plans for 91 district hospital sites have been completed and work has begun on a number of sites,” the Minister, said.
BY KINGSLEY ASARE & JESSEL LARTEY THERSON COFIE