…Prime Lands & Guest House Gone To Friends
By Cecil Mensah
One of the thorny issues that will engage the minds of the Ministerial Committee, investigating the mismanagement of the State Housing Country Limited (SHC), will be how the interdicted Managing Director (MD), sold state bungalows to his expatriate friends and cronies.
The Herald, can authoritatively report that bungalows belonging to SHC in good conditions and located in prime areas of Accra, were left to deteriorate so that it will be sold to the friends of the MD, Dr. Mark Nii Akwei Ankrah, and particularly expatriates at knock down prices.
The Herald’s information is that the prime state lands on which the bungalows were located, were the actual target of both the sellers and the buyers.
The Herald, learnt that SHC properties located in plush areas like, Awudome, Kaneshie, Kanda, parts of Airport Residential Area, Ringway, Nyaniba and Labone estates, were dispose off to expatriates to build tall glass office buildings.
In most situations, the first occupants of such bungalows that the MD intends selling, who ought to be given the first option to purchase the property are ignored. The occupants are thrown out without any notice, but on the orders of the MD through the Estate officers.
Dr. Mark Nii Akwei Ankrah, offered for sale a SHC Guest House in Cape Coast in the Central Region and another one in the Greater Accra Region to expatriate buyers. One of the properties was sold to a member of the Governing Board, headed by a certain Mr. Akuffo.
Amazingly, reports are that the money from the sale of the landed properties are not injected into the operations of the company, which is suffering to pay salaries of workers over the past five years.
According to reports, the beleaguered MD, who has had his Board reconstituted, uses the proceeds from the sale of the bungalows to finance his lavished Arabian lifestyle, both at home and abroad.
In some extreme instances, the MD offers for sale duty posts of members of staff who he perceive as being vocal and a thorn in his flesh. Some members, who are voices of descent, are also sent on transfer without any justification whatsoever.
The Herald’s information was corroborated in a petition dated December 19, 20014 by the Senior Staff Association of State Housing Company Limited located at Awudome, near the New Times Corporation in Accra.
They revealed how Dr. Mark Nii Akwei Ankrah, intended to sell three staff duty post near the Kaneshie Polyclinic to one of his expatriate friend, thereby denying the three staff member the opportunity to live in these homes.
The petitioner said, one of their colleagues was sacked because he defied the MD’s orders s and moved into one of the properties. The MD kept the property empty for
three years to warrant it sale. The decision to keep it empty was to make sure the building deteriorate, paving the way for its disposal to his expatriate friends.
Of the five years that the interdicted MD managed the affairs of the cash – strapped state company, he is said to have spent two years globetrotting abroad, leaving the job for the now Acting MD, Charles Narh.
Dr. Mark Nii Akwei Ankrah ,enjoys per diems and clothing allowances at the expense of the ailing state company.
An SHC payment voucher in the possession of The Herald, indicate that On March 27, 2014, Dr. Ankrah requested for an amount of three thousand eight hundred and six Ghana Cedis, forty six Pesewas (GH¢ 3,806.46) for a trip to Singapore.
Dr. Ankrah, was said to have spent a greater part of his tenure domiciled in the United Kingdom, while collecting salary and other benefits.
The Herald was further informed that even though, SHC has sublet its revenue collection to a company by name, Revnet Company Limited at a several cost of Cedis, revenue collection has massively gone down.
In the Brong Ahafo regional capital, Sunyani, SHC has no officers to collect grounds rent and expansion fees, even though it has been documented that Revnet must collect revenue there.
A visit to the office of SHC in Accra, The Herald saw despicable sight; a collapsing state institution, the floor tiles were peeling off.
The fourth floor of the company, has been abandoned for fear of any disaster, because it has not seen any renovation perhaps since the late President, Dr. Kwame Nkrumah established it, with the mandate to provide affordable housing units to Ghanaian workers.
More to come!