SADA project must be implemented successfully – Afenyo-Markin

The Asongtaba Guinea Fowl project

The Asongtaba Guinea Fowl project

The Member of Parliament for Effutu constituency, Mr. Alexander Kwamina Afenyo-Markin, has asked Ghanaians and critics to exercise restraint in condemning the Savannah Accelerated Development Authority’s (SADA) guinea fowl and afforestation projects.

According to him, officials of SADA have given their implementation plan of how the two projects would be done over time and therefore it would be prudent for Ghanaians to ensure that such projects are implemented successfully.

He stressed that since the authority has fulfilled some of its projects, it must be given the benefit of the doubt to implement the rest of the projects by allowing it to follow through its plans.

Giving a breakdown in the 2013 budget estimates of the office of government machinery, the Financial Committee of Parliament noted that 15 million went into the guinea fowl project, while GH¢32.298 million was spent on afforestation in 2012.

Subsequent to this, some Members of Parliament had demanded that SADA provide evidence of the projects and also justify why such a colossal amount was spent on guinea fowl and afforestation.

But, the MP for Effutu and Member of Parliament’s Finance Committee, Mr. Afenyo-Markin, who led the charge, told GO yesterday that since SADA had been able to demonstrate some of the projects it had undertaken sine the issue was raised, it would be prudent for critics to allow the authority to follow its implementation plan.

He cited the establishment of Metro Mass Transit (MMT), which received huge criticisms before its implementation, saying that such benefits would not have been realized if the authorities had not been given the chance to implement the policy.

Mr. Afenyo-Markin, however, charged the authority to be proactive in ensuring that benefits of the projects are seen on the ground for the betterment of the people otherwise Ghanaians would continue to criticize their good intentions.

Members of Parliament were deeply divided over whooping GH¢47 million spent by the Savannah Accelerated Development Authority (SADA) on guinea fowl and afforestation.

Mr. Afenyo-Markin had charged government to be “transparent and consistent” with what the money was used for in terms of equipment, human resources among others.

The MP reiterated that he believed in the need to bridge the development gap between the north and south, however, “we don’t want the government to come and tell us we have done this, we have done that without any evidence”.

But Chief Executive of SADA, Gilbert Iddi, told Accra-based radio station that he was surprised about the questions raised by the MP, saying the MP failed to ask those questions to attract the “appropriate answers” when he appeared before the Finance Committee of Parliament.

Touching on afforestation, Mr. Idi said the project has in partnership with ACI Construction Company given employment to about 50,000 people, and was confident the project would yield dividend.

“I would love to take (Parliamentarians) round to show whether the trees have been planted or not,” he said.

He said 5 million seedlings were grown for the project. On the guinea fowl project, he said, SADA has established a joint venture with Ashongtaba SADA blows GH¢47 million on guinea fowl, afforestation project Cottage Industry, which he said the 15 million was used to acquire 40 percent shares in that venture.

The company contributed GH¢25 million to get a majority share of 60 percent. He said they have so far acquired hatchery, lands and other necessary facilities to implement the project.

“It is to establish farm centres in the five regional capitals in the SADA zone, establish farms in all the regions, establish farms in the district. And the report I have received is that they have so far acquired the lands for all the five regions, they have designed the bill of quantities for the establishment of the houses in order to house the equipment that would do the processing and cold storage of the guinea fowl,” he added.