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General News of Friday, 29 March 2013

Source: radioxyzonline.com

Guinea fowl project will be probed - Bede Ziedeng

The Northern Regional Minister, Mr Bede Ziedeng has said the government will thoroughly investigate allegations that GH¢15 million was spent on the Guinea Fowl project under the Savannah Accelerated Development Authority programme.

He said: “Nobody is going to sweep anything under the carpet because this government is an open government; it is a transparent government so that at the appropriate time, I’m sure that the facts concerning all these things will be brought out."

Mr Ziedeng gave the assurance of the investigations when he paid a courtesy call on the Chief of Tamale, Gukpe Naa on Thursday March 28, 2013 in the region.

The project became topical when minority MPs in parliament on Monday March 24 criticised the use of GH¢15 million out of a total expenditure budget of over GH¢236 million allotted to the Office of Government in 2012 for a guinea fowl project.

The project is one of many development modules under the Savanah Accelerated Development Authority (SADA) programme which is aimed at reducing poverty in the Northern part of Ghana.

The Minority raised concerns over the expenditure when the finance committee presented a report seeking approval of GH¢312.3 million for the Office of Government Machinery for 2013.

The Minority also wondered how come GH¢32.4 million was used for afforestation projects last year under the same SADA programme but both projects were ignored in the 2013 budget.

The guinea fowl debate was first started by Effutu MP Alex Afenyoo-Markin. There were supporting arguments from Deputy Minority Leader Dominic Nitiwul and counter arguments from Majority Chief Whip Muntaka Mubarak.

The project is located at Sumbrungu, three kilometres from Bolgatanga in the Upper East Region.

It is sited on a 300×200 (feet) land and has an incubator room containing two locally manufactured incubators the size of double-door refrigerators and capable of holding 1000 eggs, but currently, according to the Daily Guide Newspaper, holding only 20 eggs.

The farm also contains sections for guinea fowl broilers, growers and brooders.

The Paper also claims there are currently only 600 birds on the farm.

It is managed by privately-owned Asongtaba Cottage Industry which is part of the AGAAMS Group owned by Roland Agambire, CEO of local communication giant rlg.

It is a 60/40 percent partnership between the Government of Ghana. SADA owns 40 percent shares and Asongtaba owns 60 percent of the project.

Asongtaba is expected to contribute GH¢25million as its 60 percent equity.

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