The Education Minister, Dr Yaw Osei Adutwum, has stated that the National Service Scheme (NSS) venturing into the built sector would be a game-changer towards the attainment of low-cost housing for the nation.
He explained that with the barrage of expertise at its disposal, the move stood the chance of making a great impact in the construction of low-cost housing especially for teachers across the country.
Dr Adutwum announced this when he visited the NSS headquarters in Accra on Friday.
He also used the opportunity to inaugurate a newly constructed supplementary office complex for the national secretariat of the scheme.
The ultra-modern office attachment was constructed by some selected NSS personnel who are part of the technical personnel who have the technical know-how from the built industry ready to help the scheme in the national low-cost housing project.
Dr Adutwum assured the NSS of government readiness to support them with the needed resources as well as create an enabling environment for them to operate in the country.
He also announced plans to bring the various stakeholders together to contribute effectively to ensure that this project became a reality.
The Executive Director of the NSS, Mr Osei Assibey Antwi, in his response, said, “we have a team that can put up these houses at an affordable cost. When it comes to building, I know one of the most expensive aspects is labour. Already we are paying for it through national service. We have a backlog of about 1000 service persons in the construction field who can take up any task you give to us.”
He was upbeat that, his outfit had all the know-how and the managerial capabilities to complement the government’s effort at providing low-cost housing for Ghanaians.
Again he said, The Ghana Education Trust Fund (GETFund) spends a lot of money on classroom buildings but some of them are not in good shape. We are ready to take up these works when given the chance,” he added.
He assured the nation that, the scheme was ready to collaborate with the various stakeholders in the country to ease the burden of Ghanaians in acquiring or building their own houses at an affordable cost.
The President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo Addo, in January this year, addressing the 6th quadrennial meeting of the Ghana National Association of Teachers (GNAT) announced plans by the government to construct 10,000 affordable houses for teachers within the next two years.
After this announcement, many people especially teachers hailed the government since it could help ease the burden of teachers in their bid to build their own houses during their working life or during retirement.
It is therefore gratifying to note that the involvement of the NSS and other stakeholders in the built sector would go a long way to reduce the stress many people went through in their bid to acquire their own houses due to the high cost of building and other factors.
It is gratifying to note that, the government has started various processes to ensure that the NSS would have the legal right and mandate to undertake the building project without facing any legal tussles from any source in the country.
The NSS in its bid to succeed has acquired a two-acre land at Hwereso in the Ejisu Municipality in the Ashanti region to start the construction of its model structures.
The model structures are made up of two, three, four and five-bedroom facilities to be selected by the various teachers per their choice and agreement to the payment plan before being constructed.