Editor-in-Chief of the New Crusading Guide Newspaper, Kweku Baako Jnr, over the weekend waded into the on-going debate on the feasibility and economic viability of the joint venture agreement between the Savannah Accelerated Development Authority and the Asongtaba Group for the commercial production of Guinea Fowl by taking a swipe at critics of the program.
Speaking on Joy FM’s flagship current affairs program, Newsfile, Mr. Baako, noted for his sometimes caustic remarks against the NDC, in explaining the enormous benefits the people of the North and the country at large stood to benefit from the project, held the view that the project is a rather positive venture which must be supported by all to succeed.
“In a way, I see this thing in the context of the PSI concept that the NPP administration launched. It is a very powerful concept. It is how you manage it and the areas you identify…and grow local industry and enterprise, so in principle I am all for it,” he said.
He continued “My research also shows that it is a very feasible and viable business”.
It would be recalled, that the joint venture agreement between SADA and the Asongtaba Group to produce guinea fowl in commercial quantity came under intense public scrutiny and criticism when the New Patriotic Party Member of Parliament for Effutu, Hon Alex Markin alleged that the investment was made during the 2012 election period and thus challenged the government to provide a detailed account on how much government had spent on the project under the Savannah Accelerated Development Authority (SADA).
However, Mr. KwekuBaako Jnr dismissed claims of any act of corruption stating it was premature for anyone including parliament to assume so considering the fact that what was before parliament was a consideration of budget estimates and not a presentation of an audited account of SADA on the said project.
Whiles Mr. Baako hailed the spirit of Parliament in fulfilling its oversight role, he concluded “this spirit should be driven and handled in a way which would produce positive results”.
When he took his turn on the program, the NDC Member of Parliament for Nantong, MutarlaMohammed, endorsed the arrangement stating the venture has the potential to transform lives in the entire savannah region given the enormous demand the product has.
He justified the GHC 15.0M so far spent to acquire a 40% stake in the project alluding that an investment of such nature goes beyond the mere acquisition of just birds to include the acquisition of land and other modern day equipment which are capital-intensive. The focus of parliament, according to the Nantong MP, must shift from just the approval of budgets to also include a responsibility to monitor projects which have been duly approved.