The new board of the Savannah Accelerated Development Authority must free the poverty-reduction programme from the political influence of “old boys’ networks,” former presidential Candidate Dr. Michael Abu Sakara Forster has advised.
Dr. Sakara, an agricultural economist, says the embattled programme set up to bridge the development gap between the poor north and rich south, must also be insulated from “kokofu football tactics”.
More than Ghc47 Million sunk into two major projects under SADA’s poverty fighting programmes have been fraught with corruption.
Ghc15 Million was sunk into a guinea fowl project which yielded virtually no results, according to investigations done by the Minority in Parliament. The opposition also says nothing can be said of the Ghc32.4 Million invested in an afforestation project in the same northern savannah zone. About 5.5 million trees were to be planted through the project but less than one million survived.
The rot exposed at SADA culminated in a recent overhauling of its Board by the President.
Dr. Sakara said in an article that: “If SADA is to succeed as we all wish, then the new board must break visibly with the past. If the truth be told, the new Board of SADA must now work harder than ever before to restore the public’s belief in SADA. They must immediately ensure that SADA’s system of procurement of technical assistance and goods breaks links with the old system of service providers and suppliers.”
According to him: “There must be greater transparency and scrutiny with less political interference to ensure SADA is perceived as being finally free from the influences of “old boys” networks and “kokofu” football tactics.”
“The new Board must strictly ensure that those who serve as advisors are not under any circumstances allowed to serve as consultants,” he added.
“Additionally the Board must appoint a new CEO who is not associated with the past. The Board must support him/her to take immediate measures that will ensure a change in work ethic and attitudes as they build a good mix of representative staff competencies based on merit and not political affiliation. Attention should be given to building credibility in the institution of SADA by asserting its independence in decision making about its orientation, focus and implementation processes,” Sakara said.
He believes the Board must do everything possible to “restore our belief in SADA, because it represents our belief in ourselves and the common good of our nation.”