Politics of Friday, 12 April 2013
Pressure group, Young Patriots have called on President John Maham to sack the Chief Executive Officer of SADA.
According to the group, Gilbert Iddi, Chief Executive Officer of SADA, has “displayed gross dereliction of duty, incompetence and a lack of patriotism to the state.”
The group also asked “the northern caucus of parliament as a matter of urgency sit up and commence their own investigations into this matter. It is embarrassing that a project meant to bridge the north – south divide is not getting the needed attention from elected representatives of the areas involved.
“If they continue to sleep on the job, we will set in motion strategies at the various constituencies in the affected areas to cause disaffection towards them and their ultimate removal from parliament,” they added.
Over the last couple of weeks the rot and share corruption going on at SADA has enjoyed some media attention. In particular has been the guinea fowl project as well as the afforestation projects. The Young Patriots dare say that both these projects are a total failure if not a sham.
“We are however more troubled, that a project intentioned to bridge the poverty gap between north and south and which is mostly headed and led by northerners, is being used to defraud northerners. Mind you the UN estimates the poverty levels in the three northern regions at 85%.
Below is the full text of the statement of Young Patriots
The SADA secretariat through official documents, indicated that land in each of the five SADA regions i.e. Northern , Upper East, Upper West, Volta and Brong Ahafo cost GHC 1.3m each. This makes the land cost alone GHC 6.5m.
AGAAMS group of companies owned by Mr Roland Agamberey is being partnered by government to implement both the guinea fowl project and the afforestation project.
AGAAMS group of companies has been engaged in the guinea fowl project at Sunbrungu in the Upper East region before his company was selected after the current President visited the farm.
That AGAAMS group of companies since 2012 has been given at least GHC 48m to implement the two projects.
Sunbrungu is the only physical location where guinea fowls under the project can be located after investing GHC 15m. It is our contention that it is the same guinea fowls the President inspected before the project was given to the company, that are still on the farm.
That both projects have collapsed and our monies unaccounted for. Mr Gilbert Seidu Iddi, the CEO of SADA himself has indicated that some 60% of all trees planted under the SADA project have been burnt by bush fires.
Since this matter came up, Young Patriots have carried out our own investigations and the findings are mind boggling.
There are just about 200, 000 trees across all the project sites out of the estimated 5, 000,000 that were supposed to be planted.
That the afforestation project sites have been abandoned by the care takers and farmers who were employed to do the planting and nursing of the trees.
That the employees have abandoned the project because of lack of payment of their salaries.
Project sites visited including Nyagri, Pien all in the Upper West region and Bole, the Presidents home town confirm that most of the trees have died, burnt or has not been planted at all.
On the matter of the guinea fowls, as stated earlier, Sunbrungu is the only Project site with any guinea fowls at the site and not numbering up to 700 birds.
We also found out that the estimated GHC 6.8m spent on land acquisition is a charade. First and foremost the lands have not been acquired let alone prepared for the project. An example of this is the fact that the CEO of SADA was in the Upper West region negotiating to acquire land for the project two weeks ago. Negotiations took place in one Dr Jederry’s residence in Wa. The figure of GHC 1.3m for each regional land was grossly over bloated. Our valuation of the said lands does not go beyond GHC 100, 000
Secondly, our investigations revealed that Mr Iddi was at the Fadama market in the Upper West Region within two weeks ago negotiating with guinea fowl traders who normally buy and sell from hamlets and villages in the region and sell at Fadama market. Mind you these people are traders and not farmers and therefore are not very interested in settling to farm.
Last but not least, our investigations also revealed that SADA has loaned an amount of GHC 5m of the projects monies to the Ministry of Roads and Transport for the Eastern corridor road, an action parliament has since declared as illegal.
We are praying the President to with immediate effect, dismiss Mr Gilbert Iddi as the CEO of SADA. He has displayed gross dereliction of duty, incompetence and a lack of patriotism to the state.
That a none partisan, competent panel of experts be put together to investigate the whole SADA project and their terms of reference include but not limited to:
The SADA account, amounts received, disbursed, investments, debts, income receipts.
The criteria for selection of companies to partner SADA and whether the processes were legal.
AGAAMS group of companies and their role in SADA. A forensic audit of the usage of the GHC 48m so far disbursed to the company.
The linkage between AGAAMS group of companies and President John Dramani Mahamah. It is ironical that the same company was given the tax Payers money to plant trees which never materialised, guinea fowls that have never hatched and 100, 000 laptops to school children with the President’s picture embossed on them for distribution during elections.
Last but not least, the committee should further investigate the allegations that the said amount given to SADA for onward transmission to AGAAMS group of companies was rechanneled into the 2012 elections.
We wish to appeal to the northern caucus of parliament to as a matter of urgency sit up and commence their own investigations into this matter. It is embarrassing that a project meant to bridge the north – south divide is not getting the needed attention from elected representatives of the areas involved. If they continue to sleep on the job, we will set in motion strategies at the various constituencies in the affected areas to cause disaffection towards them and their ultimate removal from parliament.
Fred Amankwah Sarfo