Board Chairman of Nickseth Construction Company Limited (NCCL), Dr. Godfred Owusu Boateng, is calling on local communities, government and the private sector – particularly the construction industry – to join forces and tackle the infrastructure challenges the country still faces.
He raised concerns over how some students still study under trees, hospitals not having enough rooms to accommodate patients, homeless people and the country’s housing deficit – which he is confident that government’s partnership with real estate developers, the construction industry and the private sector can help address.
According to Ghana Statistical Service, the 2021 Population and Housing Census data on structures, housing conditions and facilities showed a 33 percent reduction in the deficit, leaving the country’s current housing deficit at 1.8 million housing units.
However, given the population growth rate of 2.1 percent as of 2020, Dr. Owusu Boateng is confident a collective approach is crucial to addressing housing challenges in the country.
“We should all go to bed every night worrying about the millions of people who have nowhere to sleep; schoolchildren who have no classrooms to study and dormitories to sleep in, hospitals and clinics with no rooms for patients and businesses with no office spaces.
“Effort is needed to provide a pathway out of this situation of ‘homelessness’. Rectifying this dilemma calls for investment in construction, and also for collaboration among stakeholders including government, the private sector and local communities. This should be a revolution, and NCCL is among the army that is ready for the battle.
“This infrastructure gap challenges the nation in many areas – health, education, employment and sanitation, among others. The solution to this dilemma has become increasingly important to addressing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which NCCL strongly supports,” he said at the official launch of the Nickseth Construction new facility at Appolonia Industrial Park in Accra.
He noted that beyond the crucial role that ought to be played by the construction sector in reducing the housing deficit, it is key to the country’s modernisation drive and hence must be invested into.
“Let us remind ourselves that the construction industry is one of the pillars of a country’s modernisation drive, contributing to housing of people and expansion of commercial activities in both rural and urban areas – and so helps alleviate poverty, which is the primary objective of the 2030 sustainable development agenda. It has been shown that countries with continued infrastructure development have a higher GDP than others,” he said.
Speaking on how the construction sector is faring amid cedi-depreciation and an increasing inflation rate, he said though the current economic status quo poses difficulties to almost every industry, he hopes the currency will be stabilised soon.
“Companies are being fuelled by money; and while money is losing its value, naturally, everyone will be worried because you buy something today and tomorrow the price is different. And at times customers or clients do not understand, so it is a challenge and we hope the currency get stabilised. What we can do as industry players is to understand ourselves so that we help each other,” he said.