General News of Monday, 1 April 2013
Source: Peace FM
Editor-in-Chief of the New Crusading Guide Newspaper, Kweku Baako Jnr, has taken a swipe at critics of the guinea fowl venture between the Savannah Accelerated Development Authority (SADA) and the Asongtaba Group.
Speaking on Joy FM’s Newsfile, Mr. Baako, who is noted for his sometimes caustic remarks against the NDC, explained the enormous benefits the people of the North and the country at large stand to benefit from the project, holding the view that the project is a 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”.
The joint venture agreement between SADA and the Asongtaba Group to produce guinea fowl in commercial quantities came under intense public scrutiny and criticism when the New Patriotic Party (NPP) Member of Parliament (MP) 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 Kweku Baako 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.
Whilst 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, Mutarla Mohammed, 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 GHC15 million 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.