Government remains committed to SADA - Veep
2011-05-09 19:51:53This article has been read 778 times.
The Office of the Vice President has noted various reports accusing government and in particular the Vice President, John Dramani Mahama, of failing to implement the Savanna Accelerated Development Authority (SADA) initiative promised by the National Democratic Congress (NDC).
President John Evans Atta Mills’ administration has contrary to the claims of its critics remained committed and worked diligently over the last twenty-eight months towards a successful implementation of the SADA.
Over the period, a technical team put together by government worked on the draft SADA legislation, which was approved by Cabinet in March 2010 and also held various preparatory consultations towards the successful implementation of the Initiative.
Following the passage by Parliament of the Savanna Accelerated Development Authority (SADA) bill, which paved the way for the establishment of the Authority, the SADA Board chaired by Mr. Alhassan Andani was inaugurated in December of 2010.
Since then, the Board has held two meetings in the Northern and Upper West Regions. It has also engaged PriceWaterHouse to recruit the permanent staff required for the administration of the Authority.
Local and foreign advertisements for the positions of Chief Executive Officer and heads of eleven (11) other directorates have been issued.
It is important to note that the implementation of the SADA Initiative is not a onetime event but an ongoing process until its desired objectives are achieved.
The Board of SADA, in collaboration with government is preparing towards a major stakeholders conference in June of this year.
The forum would bring together potential partners and funding agencies towards raising the required capital towards the implementation of identified projects aimed at achieving the objectives of SADA.
Already, through government’s intervention and the work of the Board, a number of agencies including the DFID and the World Bank have already pledged funds for the SADA Initiative.
A number of private sector initiatives supported strongly by government and aimed at ensuring the development of industrial zones in the Savanna belt has also commenced. An example is the shea butter processing plant in Buipe, in the Northern Region.
On the matter of budgetary allocations made to SADA, government remains committed to releasing such allocations to the Authority.
But as explained by the Board Chairman Alhassan Andani, this can only be done after the functional executives of the Authority have been appointed, because “they have the authority to open and manage bank accounts on behalf of the Authority.”
It is also important to note that prior to the approval of the SADA Bill by Parliament:
i. Broad consultations were held with Chiefs, Civil Society Organisations, District Assemblies, Regional Coordinating Councils and opinion leaders to solicit their inputs towards the implementation of the programme.
ii. District and NGO stakeholders in 10 affected districts in Northern Volta and Northern Brong-Ahafo regions have been engaged in detailed assessments to determine their priorities for development under SADA as part of preparations towards a speedy implementation.
iii. Members of Parliament from the SADA areas were engaged in a 2-day session to deliberate on their perspectives and recommendations for the SADA process.
iv. The Office of the Vice President has been holding series of meetings with NGOs, Civil society, Development partners and other Governments on possible cooperation and also to solicit technical support for SADA.
v. An interim secretariat has been established to coordinate the start-up of SADA under the Office of the Vice-President, and a Development Policy Advisor appointed by the President to advise Government on the way forward to establishing SADA.
We wish to use this opportunity to assure all Ghanaians that tremendous strides have already been made and we look forward to the SADA Board rolling out its programmes shortly.
JOHN ABDULAI JINAPOR
SPOKESPERSON TO THE VICE PRESIDENT
THE CASTLE- OSU