Business News of 2013-12-25

Minister disappointed over attitude of SADA stakeholders

Mr Bede Ziedeng, Northern Regional Minister, has expressed disappointment over the lukewarm attitude and poor attendance of the Savannah Accelerated Development Authority (SADA) co-ordinating meetings, saying this affects its smooth-running.

The poor attendance of the second SADA Stakeholder Co-ordinating Committee Meeting compelled the Minister to do a head count of stakeholders from the Northern, Upper East, Upper West, Volta and Brong-Ahafo regions, after which he indicated that the meeting was not properly constituted.

Out of the 60 members expected to attend the meeting to deliberate on the previous minutes and the CEO’s annual report, only 20 members attended. He said the Committee had also failed to meet at least twice in a year, therefore, making it quite difficult to take positive decisions for SADA to effectively discharge its duties.

“We are supposed to offer useful suggestions to SADA and give constructive criticisms for the organisation to function,” he said.

The Minister, also the Chairman of the Committee, expressed disappointment over the bad media reportage SADA had received the past one year, stressing that those reports had dented the image of the organisation.

Mr Ziedeng urged authorities of the organisation to work on its image to regain its credibility and reliability.

Dr Charles D. Jebuni, Acting Chief Executive Officer of SADA, apologised for its inability to organise the meetings as expected, and explained that the guinea fowl project was a joint venture but was misconstrued as if SADA was producing guinea fowls.

He said the joint company would soon sell 5,000 guinea fowls in Accra and Kumasi for people to know what was going on, and indicated that 10,000 farm families have gained jobs through the guinea fowl project.

On modernization of agriculture, he said SADA had cultivated over 19,000 acres of farm lands, with 20,000 households gaining access to subsidised fertilizer, seeds and agronomic training support. Dr Jebuni said 2,000 farm families were also supported to grow mango in order to increase their asset base.

He said SADA engaged a private company to create 5,000 employment opportunities for the youth to plant five million trees, stressing that the University for Development Studies had been contracted to audit the project.

He said many innovations were going to be introduced in 2014 including Apiculture, new technology for shea nut picking, and an affordable housing project to enhance the standards of living of the people.