A coalition of civil society organisations, the Coalition of Savannah Accelerated Development Authority (SADA) Zone, has asked the government to investigate how a US$ 500 million loan facility secured to enhance the operations of SADA was expended. The facility was secured by the Kufuor administration in 2008 shortly before President Mills assumed office in 2009. According to the coalition, the funds were meant for the construction of two strategic and life-transforming projects in the northern savannah area. They were multi-purpose dams at Pwalugu and Juale in the Upper East and Northern regions, respectively, to boost the agricultural sector to improve livelihoods. The coalition, however, claims that even though the loan was secured, no work was done. Addressing a news conference in Accra yesterday, the Executive Secretary of the coalition, Mr Bismark Adongo Ayorogo, appealed to President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo to institute a probe into the matter to reaffirm his commitment to the accelerated development of the Northern Savannah Ecological Zone (NSEZ). He stated that the “SADA Master Plan, particularly the agricultural-led transformation plan, developed under its current dynamic and visionary leadership, is a product of broad-based consultations and has clearly defined the transformational agenda of the zone.” According to Mr Ayorogo, the plan could also help the government realise its proposed one village, one dam policy, adding that, “the plan could rapidly transform the northern savannah area into a place of opportunities for all Ghanaians, particularly our women and girls in the kayayei business and free them from poverty, hunger and malnutrition.” Restructuring On restructuring of SADA, the executive secretary appealed to the government to focus on retrieving all alleged stolen funds under the former SADA management. He, however, urged the government to maintain the current name of SADA to reflect its geographical area and also extend further support to the new SADA leadership to improve on existing management systems and structures. The group further advocated the undertaking of broad-based consultation with the chiefs and people from the NSEZ on the restructuring process of SADA and its medium to long-term development priorities. Mr Ayorogo stated that the government could realise its development objectives if it prioritised improvement in irrigational infrastructure and revamped defunct factories, including agro-based ones.
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