Information available to the MFWA Fact-checking team reveals that claims made by the Transport Minister, Fiifi Fiavi Kwetey, on the NPP housing record are not true. His claims that the NPP did not build “even a chamber and hall” and that “not even a single room was completed in eight years of the NPP” are false. Again, his claims about investments in the transport sector were also found to be true but misleading. Below are the claims he made, the fact-checking verdicts and the basis for the verdicts.
CLAIM 1: “But listen, even though they [The NPP] had so much more revenue than us, between 1993 and 2000…NDC was able to build houses. When you go to Adenta, you see houses. When you go to Sakumono, you see houses. You go to Dansoman, you see houses. You go to Tema Community 3, you see houses built by the NDC government between 1993 to 2000, and also houses in all the regional capitals. How many houses did NPP build? Zero, not even one chamber and hall! Not even one single room was completed in eight years of the NPP.
VERDICT: Completely false
EXPLANATION: Fiifi Kwetey did not name specific housing projects, but it appears from the areas he cited that these were mainly SSNIT bungalows. The NPP also undertook various housing projects, some of which were completed before the party left office in 2008.
The NPP built 5,138 units of “Affordable Houses” in Kpone Katamanso (1,788) and Borteyman (1,572) near the Legon Farms in Accra, Asokore Mampong (1,092) in Kumasi as well as in Koforidua (342), Tamale (200) and Wa (144). At the time of leaving office, about 60% of the houses were roofed and some painted. Others were at various stages of completion. These houses were, however, not completed and handed over to people to live in.
Housing projects that were completed in the NPP’s administration included the AU Village in Cantonments and another project similar to the AU village located at Ridge in Accra near the National Health Insurance Scheme Head office.
During the NPP’s term in office, the Ghana Military Barracks at Burma Camp, (popularly dubbed Beijing Barracks) was built. The cost of the project was $3.8million. According to information on the website of the Ghana Armed Forces, the barracks comprises “3 Blocks of 28 units each, 2 Blocks of 12 units each to accommodate 24 married couples. 84 single quarters.” Works on the project started in March, 2003 and it was commissioned on 11th March, 2004.
It is therefore false to claim that “not even one single room was completed in eight years of the NPP,” when aside from the projects cited above, Ghana’s Presidential Palace, The Flagstaff House, was built by that administration.
CLAIM 2: Now under transport, JM has brought about the largest investment in the history not just in Ghana but in Africa. 1.5 billion dollars that has been invested to transform the ports of Ghana. It’s never happened in the history of Ghana. In fact the World Bank say that alone is biggest facility they have ever seen in any country.
VERDICT: True but Misleading
EXPLANATION: It’s true that 1.5 billion dollars has been sourced for the expansion of the Tema Port, but, it’s misleading to state emphatically that the amount has been invested and that it’s the largest investment in the transport sector across Africa.
According to a press release from the maritime authority, ‘Meridian Port Services (MPS) has secured the required financing to execute the Tema Port Expansion Project, enabling the development of an ultra-modern state-of-the-art port facility at Ghana’s primary commercial hub. The project, valued at USD 1.5 billion, in addition to serving Ghana, will also expand trade flows and links across West Africa. Meridian Port Services Limited is a joint venture between the Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority and Meridian Port Holdings Limited, with Bolloré Transport & Logistics and APM Terminals as the two main shareholders. Construction of the harbour expansion project will begin on 1st October 2016 and is projected to be completed by 4th Quarter of 2019.’
Again, Kenya has seen an amount of 13.8 billion dollars being invested on a railway project. According to CNN, “It’s been billed as the most ambitious project in Kenya since it gained independence in 1963. Now, the first section of the east African nation’s $13.8 billion railway is nearly finished.”
South Africa has also initiated an investment project worth $3.2 billion in expanding and developing the Port of Durban. The project will majorly involve expanding the container terminals, deepening and widening the harbour and also boast a new ultra-modern passenger cruise terminal, which will harbour big vessels bringing international tourists.