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General News of Tuesday, 11 December 2018


Government chases SADA debtors

The Northern Development Authority (NDA) has said it will soon go after all beneficiaries who owe Unik Savannah Company Limited, a subsidiary of the defunct Savannah Accelerated Development Authority (SADA).

In 2015, SADA imported five thousand units of tricycles, motorbikes, and corn mills all worth $9 million to support transportation and also alleviate poverty in the northern ecological zone.

An ad hoc committee established by the Board of NDA is on a fact-finding mission in the Northern, Upper East and Upper West regions to gather details about the assets and liabilities of the defunct company.

The committee is mandated to solicit views and ideas on how to retrieve monies owed the company from defaulting beneficiaries and secondly, how to dispose of the remaining assets that have been abandoned at the SADA yard and exposed to the vagaries of the weather.

Chairman of the fact-finding committee, Mr. Boniface A. Gambila, warned the debtors to be ready to pay back all money owed in order to avoid prosecution.

He noted that the NDA has a mandate to accelerate the needed development of the ecological zone, adding that the authority will turn a blind eye to the perception that state property must be given to political party cronies.

Mr Gambila said the committee was determined to sell the remaining machines in stock.

According to him, the debtors claimed they could not pay back for the items they got from SADA because they were overpriced under the hire-purchase system.

According to the former Nabdam legislator, buying with cash from a vendor is different from buying on credit, and, “so, we are yet to determine the credit facility, the percentage granted and the interest rate. We will do our calculations as of that time, to see whether it was reasonable, whether it matches with the norm elsewhere so that we can then conclude that they were overpriced or not.”

The Unik Savannah Company Limited was a joint venture company established through a Memorandum of Understanding between SADA and its partners Unik Dezines and Jialing Motor Company limited. The focus of Unik Savannah was to procure, assemble and distribute light machines such as tricycles and two-wheeler motorcycles on hire purchase, payable between one and two years.

Unik Savannah procured some 5000 units of tricycles and 1000 units of 2-wheeler motorcycles for assembling and sale in the Northern Savannah Ecological Zone.

This was facilitated by SADA by raising letters of credit from its bankers and shipping of the consignment to Ghana.

A total of 2,171 tricycles and 257 of the motorcycles were sold on credit before the management of SADA grounded the operations of the company due to alleged malfeasance and mismanagement in 2015.

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