The Convention People’s Party only standing Member of Parliament for the Jomoro Constituency in the Western Region, Samia Nkrumah has stated for the first time that she would have voted against the STX housing deal if she was in the country during its debate.
The daughter of Ghana’s first President Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, told Paul Adom Otchere host of Good Evening Ghana Show on Metro TV , that she was not in the country during the debate and would have kicked against it because she did not feel right about the deal.
“I would have voted against it if I were in the country then, because the whole deal is not right” she said.
The controversial deal between the government of Ghana and Korea will see a Korean firm, STX Group provide 200,000 housing units at a cost of $10 billion.
Under the STX housing project, 30,000 housing units are expected to be constructed for the country’s security services.
The deal sparked long running controversies on the nation’s airwaves and among stakeholders, policy think tanks and civil society groups. It was finally approved by the legislature amidst protests and an eventual walk out by the Minority.
Hon. Samia Nkrumah told Good Evening Ghana she did not feel right about the whole deal and bemoaned the fact that the contract was not awarded to Ghanaian construction firms.
She chided the government for not believing in the capacity of Ghanaian companies and also not engaging the local expertise in the execution of the deal.
According to her, if the deal was awarded to a local company, it would have gone a long way to provide more employment which would reduce the rate of poverty in the country.
She added that government must stop the habit of depending on other countries and rather focus on engaging local expertise in the development of the nation.
A member of the Convention People’s Party, Professor Agyeman Badu Akosa and a panelist on the show, also emphasized the need for government to engage local expertise in building the nation. According to him the government entered the agreement with the Korean firm because of the benefits the government stands to gain from the sovereign guarantee.
“Once you look at issues from a selfish point of view, you have lost the big picture because looking at the fact that in doing this with Ghanaians, you are building their capacity, you are building their skills, you are increasing their know how…let us stop this issue about local content. Why can’t everything be local content? We do have the expertise, look at the kind of buildings that are being built in this country…we have got the capacity to do this, we have got affordable materials in this country. Building and Road Research Institute have been there since it was established and I tell you, you will be amazed at the kind of things that they can do but who is talking to them?” he queried.