Minister for Works and Housing, Samuel Atta Akyea, has asked government to consider using the stock market to raise about US$90billion to help bridge the country’s huge infrastructure gap.
Whilst the country is said to have a 1.7million housing deficit, it also has a huge deficit in roads, water delivery, bridges, electricity, hospitals, and sanitation, among others.
Official data from government shows that the country needs about GH¢30billion to bridge its infrastructure gap in these areas.
Speaking to the B&FT after the launch of the multi-sector international exhibitions in Accra, Mr. Akyea said: “We could go for about US$90billion from the stock market to completely solve the country’s infrastructure deficit, if you look at the huge infrastructure challenges we are facing in the country.
We are moving at a tortoise pace; small money, small projects. Why don’t we go for good money and use it to wipe the mass poverty that we have in terms of the infrastructure deficit and let the economy turnaround?”
He explained that: “We have huge infrastructure deficits everywhere – roads, housing etc. How are we going to solve this problem? Are we going to depend on only our internal revenue mobilisation? How much do we earn as a country?
If it’s a huge problem dating back Kwame’s Nkrumah’s time and we are just saying that this is a perennial thing, why don’t you go for good money?
The ultimate benefit is that, immediately you affect infrastructure, it has a cascading effect on Gross Domestic Product and the living standards of people.”
If such funds are raised and are strictly applied to projects in a very good manner, Ghana’s economy will see a turnaround, he said, adding that “if I get the blessing of the President, I think we will go far in solving the infrastructure deficit in the country.”
He said he is putting together a comprehensive document on the infrastructure projects the country needs to embark on and how to raise the money for them.
The Ministry of Works and Housing exists to formulate, coordinate, monitor and evaluate the implementation of policies, plans, programmes and projects for the sustainable management of public landed properties, drainage works, coastal protection works and operational hydrology as well as secured, safe, decent and affordable housing for all people living in the country.
The ministry, Atta Akyea said, seeks to execute this mandate through an efficient management system that employs all the tools of strategic planning, budgeting and implementation of programmes and projects as well as monitoring and evaluation to ensure transparency and accountability.
Infrastructure, he said, remains a key development priority to sustain the country’s rapid urbanisation and industrial growth as well as the attainment of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Ghana’s location in the West African Sub Region provides a unique advantage for the development of the country’s infrastructure as a hub for sub-regional, regional and international trade and commerce, hence the vision to have a robust and sustainable development of public infrastructure in the area of Works and Housing, he said.
The priority infrastructure projects of the Ministry of Works and Housing within the infrastructure sector, Mr. Akyea said, will be realised through a Public Private Partnership (PPP), among others.
He said government’s vision is to use appropriate mix of public policy and public-private investments to deliver quality, affordable, and sustainable public infrastructure that meets the needs of the country, particularly the needs of the vulnerable and the marginalised.
“Ideally, we want the infrastructure companies to find local partners and empower our enterprises through the transfer of technology.
Such partnerships would create the required opportunity for the emergence of new business in Ghana and therefore serve as a strong foundation for other future businesses,” Mr. Akyea stated.