By Bernice Bessey
The Ghana Real Estate Developers Association (GREDA) has congratulated the president-elect, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo and the New Patriotic Party (NPP) for winning the 2016 general elections.
“We wish to extend our warm congratulations and best wishes to you for the endorsement from Ghanaians to serve in the high office of President of the Republic of Ghana” they stated.
GREDA members assured the incoming government that, they are ready to work with it (new administration) and to help ease the challenges facing the nation in the area of housing and accommodation, particularly in the low and middle income bracket.
Amegayibor Sammy, Secretary of GREDA, in a press statement copied to The Chronicle indicated that since its establishment in 1988, the association, which is a grouping of real estate developers and allied service providers, has been working with successive governments to address the myriad of housing sector-related challenges bedeviling our dear country.
He added that their willingness to work with successive governments had yielded significant results, to which the members are grateful, adding “as a result, we have resolved to partner with your incoming administration in a much more effective and broader way to help address these challenges.”
As a sharp reminder to the promise made the NPP to scrap the 5% flat rate VAT imposed on sales in the real estate sector, he said the association looks forward for the implement of that policy.
Mr. Amegayibor further stated that the tax is a clear impediment to the progress of the real estate sector and pleased with the coming administration to lessen the burden of taxes real estate developers.
He argued that Ghana as at 2010 had a housing deficit of over 1.7 million housing units and the situation was growing by the day, stating “GREDA believes the scrapping of the tax will help to boost the capacity of developers to be able to expand by producing more housing units.
“It will also strengthen the purchasing power of the populace and this will help raise the revenue government makes from us as an industry through direct and indirect taxes.”
The association called on the president-elect because over the years, a number of key issues have worked against their ability to deliver quality and affordable housing for the Ghanaian public.
The association’s challenges have to do with complex land tenure systems, high cost of capital, high cost of duties and taxes on imported raw materials, just to mention a few.
He said GREDA was particularly excited about the District Industrialization Programme (One District- One Factory) agenda and they are eager to offer the opportunity to support the setting up of local building material industries.
“We strongly believe that this and many other policies that will be introduced will help to create thousands of jobs that our economy requires,” she stressed.