I will push for PWD to assume its former role - Freda Prempeh (April, 5)

 A Deputy Minister of Works and Housing designate, Ms Freda Prempeh, says she will push for the Public Works Department (PWD) to be restructured to make it more efficient to maintain state bungalows that are often left to rot because of the lack of maintenance.

She said to adequately resource the department to enable it to play its role effectively, it needed to retain some of its internally generated funds, as well as receive payment for services rendered to state institutions, including the Accra International Conference Centre, the National Theatre and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Innovative 
Ms Prempeh, however, stated that the PWD also needed to be innovative and creative to generate resources.
The nominee was answering a question by a member of the Appointments Committee of Parliament, Mr Anthony Karbo, on what could be done to revive the department, so that the situation where state bungalows were written off and sold because of deterioration could be averted.
She said the PWD had, in the past, been vibrant until it was decentralised and its work handed over to metropolitan, municipal and district assemblies and the regional coordinating councils.
Maintenance culture
Ms Prempeh, who is the Member of Parliament for Tano North, bemoaned the lack of maintenance culture on the part of some occupants of state bungalows and called for a maintenance policy in that respect.
“We should find a way of letting occupants of government bungalows put down some money to cater for the renovation of those bungalows that are neglected by the occupants,” she said.
Affordable housing
On affordable housing, the nominee said the government would work towards the establishment of a National Housing Fund and subsequently a National Housing Authority to make a strong case for the use of local materials for building.
That, she said, would reduce the cost of construction and make housing affordable.
Ghana’s housing deficit currently stands at 1.7 million, a situation that leaves tenants at the mercy of landlords.
The situation also creates a lot of pressure on the Rent Control Unit which mediates between landlords and tenants.
Mass sports
When he took his turn, the Deputy Minister designate for Youth and Sports, Mr Pius Hadzide, said he would support the decision of the minister to introduce mass sports as a measure to reduce the country’s health bill.
He said he would also support what he described as positive discrimination to ensure that more females received sports scholarships as part of women’s empowerment and sports development in the country.

Mr William Kwasi Sabi, who has been nominated as the Deputy Minister for Monitoring and Evaluation, said the work of the ministry would involve the tracking of  programmes and projects of the various ministries to ensure efficiency.

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