The opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP) has renewed its commitment to transform the Savannah ecological zone into a place of opportunities for all, free from poverty and inequality.
The party in 2008 initiated a pro poor government programme christened the Northern Development Authority (NDA) to transform the Savannah Ecological zone.
Representing the NPP’s Presidential candidate at the maiden edition of the national forum on transformation of the Northern Savannah of Ghana, a former Northern Regional Minister, Prince Imoro Andani said the party is passionate about Northern Ghana’s transformation.
He disclosed the party’s intension to allocate 54 million cedis as seed funding to reactivate what he described as the defunct Savannah Accelerated Development Authority (SADA).
Prince Imoro Andani admonished Civil Society Organizations operating within the Savannah Ecological Zone to conduct surveys and provide baselines that would enable government prioritize development projects needed to bridge the developmental disparities between southern and northern Ghana.
He said a Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo Addo led government would collaborate with CSOs to avoid duplication of resources during the implementation of projects.
The NPP, according to the former Northern Regional Minister who is a social development expert assured farmers that fertilizer and seed subsidy would be restored.
Prince Imoro Andani posited that the NPP’s one village one dam policy meant to promote off season agriculture is feasible.
He reaffirmed the NPP’s determination to closely work with traditional authorities to secure enough lands for commercial agriculture.
He said cashew, tomato and rice production would be up scaled to reduce the nation’s wage bill on particularly rice importation.
He said the NPP would intensify accountability and transparency in governance for which reason the office of a special Prosecutor would be established.
Prince Imoro Andani believed education is the panacea to poverty reduction accounting for the NPP’s flagship programme, free Senior High School education.
He said Feeding Grants meant for the upkeep of Senior High Schools would be intact.
He assured the business community that the next NPP administration would give them stimulus packages courtesy MASLOC to boost the private sector considered as the engine of growth.
He responded to questions from the gathering and allayed fears that the NPP’s one dam one village, one million Dollars package for each constituency among other promises are campaign rhetoric.
“Poverty reduction is a mirage in a situation where corruption is endemic and the NPP remains focused to ensure that Metropolitan, Municipal and District Chief Executives would be elected under Nana Akufo Addo’s watch.”
He reechoed the NPP’s strive to deliver on its 2016 campaign manifesto.
The Chief Executive Officer of SADA, Charles Abugri remarked that the authority is setting the right standards in line with the nation’s transformational agenda.
He pleaded with the citizens to decouple politics from SADA because it is non partisan.
“We wouldn’t respond to political comments on SADA and we will protect the credibility of SADA.”
Charles Abugri revealed that enough resources have been pumped into SADA and called for its sustainability.
Executive Secretary of the Coalition of SADA zone CSOs, Bismark Ayorigo decried the sharp decline in agriculture growth.
He charged the political stakeholders to map out a common agenda to transform northern Ghana into opportunities of change.
Bismark Ayorigo reiterated the Coalition of SADA zone CSOs forward march to hold successive government’s accountable for the rapid transformation of the Savannah Ecological zone.
Some of the participants called for the separation of the Shea industry from the Cocoa Marketing Board.
They also tasked duty bearers to keep faith with the citizens in line with their campaign promises enshrined in their manifestos.
The paramount chief of the Sakote traditional area who doubles as a SADA Board member, Naba Sigri Bewong exonerated SADA management from public criticism.
According to him, government has not been forthcoming with budgetary allocations meant for SADA.
He said SADA had the right leadership but would only function with the needed resources.
By: Abdul Karim Naatogmah/citifmonline.com/Ghana