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Opinions of Wednesday, 3 December 2014

Columnist: Ayorogo, Adongo Bismark

Stand up against government’s plans to abandon SADA

Northerners urged to stand up against government’s plans to abandon SADA

Northern Patriots in Research and Advocacy (NORPRA) has called on Ghanaians particularly those from the savannah ecological zone to, as a matter of urgency, stand up and speak out against the well-coordinated plans of the Mahama - led administration to abandon the Savannah Accelerated Development Authority (SADA) established by an act of parliament to address Ghana’s age-long development gap.

Evidence of the government’s plans to abandon this laudable pro-poor programme is picked from the 2015 Budget Statement in which the government did not only fail to make any allocation to the authority but showed no plans of retrieving monies from individuals and institutions that mismanaged SADA resources.

It is a factual statement that while the governments of Kufour and Mills respectively committed Ghc25 million and Ghc30 million annually to the Northern Development Fund and SADA, the Mahama-led administration never in previous budgets allocated anything beyond Ghc 20 million from the Budget to SADA

It was the expectation of Ghanaians that, given the numerous challenges that confronted SADA, government was going to use the Budget Statement being a major policy document for the year to outline specific policy interventions and strategies to reposition SADA well and make it work better, unfortunately, government remained silent on what needs to be done differently and innovatively to save SADA from total collapse.

In order to ensure the successful implementation of the SADA programme, government in 2014 proposed development of a robust Monitoring &Evaluation framework for the purpose of ensuring a holistic supervision and monitoring of the SADA projects, as a government committed to enhancing Transparent and Accountable Governance, it was the expectation of NORPRA that government would, through parliament, share with citizens the outcomes of the monitoring and evaluation exercise.

Government again failed to account to the people of Ghana on the success or otherwise of a specific intervention, a collaborated programme between SADA and Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection in 2014 to address growing migration of older women to urban, market locations.

It is in the light of these observations that NORPRA urges all beneficiaries of SADA to stand up against government’s plans to abandon this well-thought through programme that has the huge potential under its current well experienced Chief Executive Officer to transform the savannah areas into prosperity and development.