General News of Thursday, 5 October 2017
The Committee on Employment, Social Welfare and State Enterprises of Parliament has recommended to government to take over both assets and liabilities of the Savannah Accelerated Development Authority (SADA).
Speaking on the floor of Parliament at the second reading of the Northern Development Authority (NDA) Bill 2017, the Chairman of the Committee, Kwame Anyimadu Antwi, indicated that Clause 34 of the Bill provides that assets, rights and liabilities of SADA established under the SADA Act 805 be transferred to the Northern Development Authority upon its establishment.
However, the Committee says it noted that the operations of SADA cover some parts of the Volta and Brong-Ahafo regions, where it has offices, properties and employees.
It observed that the territorial jurisdiction of NDA, which is expected to cover only the Northern, Upper East and Upper West regions, may not make it feasible for the Authority to manage properties and offices of SADA situated outside that zone. The Committee therefore recommended that government takes over and decides appropriately on the assets and liability of SADA.
Mr Anyimadu Antwi, who also doubles as the Member of Parliament for Asante Akyim Central, stressed that as part of its functions, NDA will lead and coordinate local development initiatives in the northern zone, according to the Bill.
This he said includes facilitating public-private partnerships (PPP) to stimulate investments and facilitating the acquisition of credit by local, indigenous entities which operate within the zone.
According to him, the Committee is convinced that the new authority will provide the incentives for indigenous entities to relocate their operations to rural communities to create jobs and business opportunities for the people.
He said the success of the Authority will largely depend on the active involvement of the beneficiary communities in the initiation and implementation of its programmes.
The Committee, therefore, recommends that the bill makes it mandatory for the Authority to hold public consultations on major projects it plans to undertake.
On behalf of the Committee, the Ashanti-Akim Central MP noted that this will ensure projects implemented by the Authority are owned by the community and are of utmost relevance to their needs.
SADA was established by the previous government with the intention of bridging the gap between the north and the south and elevate the north from extreme poverty.
Members of both political divide in Parliament supported the bill. They, however, prayed it never fails but rather stays and overcomes all the challenges it will face.
Leaders of the house, Minority Leader Haruna Iddrisu and Majority Leader Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, threw their support behind the bill awaiting for its third reading and passage.