Final decision on Access scandal expected soon

In the latest development of the long running dispute between Access Real Estate (ARE) and disappointed home buyers, the technical committee formed two years ago to resolve the controversy has anonymously passed a decision that the main committee should provide a final decision on the matter. The committee, led by Nuredin Mohammed, General Manager of ALLE and advisor to the Minister of Trade, gave its decision about three weeks ago to settle the problem on schedule, as stated in the terms of reference developed to resolve conflict between home buyers and the company. The construction of houses was expected to commence on some sites, according to the plan, but no developmentson construction of the homes materialized.
Access Real Estate has been in turmoil since it failed to deliver a single home to its more than 2,700 customers over four years ago; customers collectively paid over 1.4 billion birr.
Ermias Amelga, then CEO, fled when crisis broke out, but returned early this year after he was granted special protection by the Ministry of Justice in the basis of bringing back ARE into action. The two committees, main and technical, were formed two years back by the government and played a big for the return of Ermias.
However, no other tangible result has been seen from either committee. Four weeks ago, the technical committee developed its report for the main committee but suspended it for days after members agreed that Ermias should be able to also submit a report from his side within 24 hours.
Ermias was unable to present a report within the allocated period of time and thus the committee has transferred its final recommendation for the main committee, chaired by Mekuria Haile, Minister of Urban Development and Housing. The crux of the report is that the government will have to have to find another solution to settle the matter, according to sources.
The main committee will now give a final decision on the next steps to transfer the land ownership to homebuyers or develop ARE. The main committee’s decision that could change the current strategy is expected in the coming weeks.