A fellow of Solidaire Ghana, Harry Yamson, says government could have solved the Saglemi Housing issue with $32 million some 5 years ago.

According to him, the prioritisation of governments to score political goals at the expense of their opposition has dragged the issue for all these years.

“It can be fixed. But it has now become a political football, and it should not be because 600 families need homes and could be housed at the moment if we had used 2017 to 2020 to solve the $32 million deficit.

“Obviously, we spent more than that buying vehicles, so we don’t have an issue. But it is the politics that is also dragging this matter,” he said on August 14.

Speaking on JoyNews’ Newsfile Saturday, Harry Yamson expressed that there are several contributing factors to the delay in the delivery of the Saglemi Housing project, among them being a dissonance between the Ministry and the government’s legal advisors, the prevention of key private sector players such as GREDA from joining the project etc.

“We have a problem, and that has to do with dissonance, and that is the reason why we have all these disputes that are going to bedevil Saglemi, and I promise you it’s not just Saglemi. The last time we were talking about Energy contracts. It’s the same symptoms, the same diagnostics,” he said.

However, chief of them he says is the issue of poor governance.

“We tickle ourselves, and we pretend that we’re laughing. Saglemi is not the issue because, for $32 million, we could have solved Saglemi five years ago. So the issue is not Saglemi.

“As for the legal matters, they can be resolved. But I think that we’re not mindful of the governance issues, and we’re not mindful of resolving the governance issues,” he said.

He added, “If we were, we would not go to Credit Suisse and vary the purpose of the loan without anybody being aware of it. If we were, we will not be in a situation today where we have four contracts around one project, and they disagree; they don’t say the same thing.

“It is a problem. It is not political; this is a matter of governance; it is a matter of how our political leaders themselves understand their role to ensure continuity and the security of the purse.”

Harry Yamson further bemoaned the wrongful use of the public purse instead of its protection by the government.

“The purse has become a football; the purse has become a whip that is used to bastardise everything that is done before one party comes into power and to justify political action. And it is wrong.

“For $32 million, we could have solved Saglemi, but we dragged it and made it a political issue, and I think that people should ask questions of our political leaders.

“That why is it that we have $32 million to spend on vehicles but not $32 million to spend on low-income housing? It is wrong,” he concluded.