GREPA advocates creation of new settlement to decongest cities

Prince Nketiah, Member of GREPA

A member of Ghana Real Estate Professionals Association (GREPA), Prince Nketiah, has called on government to deal with the congestion in main cities by creating settlements around neighbouring towns that have vast lands.

According to him, government should encourage the private sector to take up the challenge by offering some tax reliefs to them, as well as ensuring there is a proper road network and electrification, amongst others, to attract them.

Mr. Nketia opines that when this is done, issues of rural-urban migration which have been fuelled mainly by lack of working opportunities in the rural areas will be reduced, and as well free the cities from congestion.

“I think it is about time our government started thinking of creating new settlements in the surrounding areas; because if you go to areas like Aburi, Akropong and Nsawam, you will find vast lands which are not used. Government can actually enhance the private sector organisations, those that would want to move to these areas and entice them with some tax reliefs.

“This will be something that attracts such companies to set up offices in these places. Government can also create the road networks in these areas, and also help in electrification of these areas. And this is something that can actually entice investors to move to these areas where we can create new settlements,” he said on the HomeOwners show on Metro Television.

Citing Nigeria’s Victoria Island as an example he said: “If you look at Nigeria and you look at places like Lagos – the Victoria Island for instance was something that was not like how it is now; but it has become a hotcake that everybody wants to move to and settle there. So I think it is about time our government started looking at things like this, which can release the pressure on urban centres like Accra.”

According to him, government has been talking without actions; thereby leaving the country with a deficit of about 1.8 million housing units. He also mentioned that government must also begin to move some headquarters of agencies to other regions.

Sharing his thoughts on the World Habitat Day celebration in Ghana on the theme ‘Housing for all: A Better Urban Future’, he said sustainable urbanisation is one of the key drivers in achieving sustainable development goals. He indicated the performance of Ghana on the new urban development report is not something to boast about; therefore, government must ensure it restores hope.

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