The Coalition of civil society organizations within the Savannah Accelerated Development Authority (SADA) ecological zone is advocating GHc200 million for SADA in the 2016 budget. They claimed the early request follows the elimination of SADA in the 2015 budget which generated public condemnations.
The Coalition’s Spokesperson, Bismark Adongo Ayorogo in a statement hinted, “We members of the coalition have very reliable and credible information that government has planned as usual to ignore SADA in the 2016 Budget Statement.” He warned, “We wish to assure government that this time round, Ghanaians particularly those from the SADA Zone will not sit on the fence and watch it to continue these illegalities in a country that is governed by the rule of law: we are urging government not to repeat the grievous and very unpardonable mistake it made in the 2015 Budget as it failed to allocate resources to SADA till there was public outcry and condemnation.” Adongo Bismark also revealed that government failed to pay outstanding budgetary allocations for SADA as captured in the 2013/14 budget statements. “We equally note with disappointment that since His Excellency President John Mahama took over the governance of this country and management of the economy, no single budget allocation has been disbursed to SADA and this is very worrying: we are therefore asking that both the 2013 and 2014 budget allocations that were made but never disbursed to SADA should be released even before the 2016 Budget Statement is presented.” He reminded government of the constitutional requirement that levies on all non-petroleum imports should be used to support SADA’s budgetary allocations.
It is important to remind Ghanaians that annual budget allocations to SADA and introducing levies on all non-petroleum imports to fund SADA are legal requirements under Section 18 of the SADA Act of 2010, Act 805: therefore government has been engaging in illegalities over the years by failing to do what is expected of it under the law.” He appealed to all well meaning Parliamentarians to disapprove the 2016 budget statement if SADA is not captured in it. Bismark Adongo commended the newly constituted SADA Board’s move to retrieve all ‘misappropriated’ funds by the old SADA management. “We are also aware of the steps that the new Board and Management of SADA are taking to retrieve all funds that were misappropriated and mismanaged by the leadership of the old SADA with their partners in crime: we therefore equally call on SADA to quicken these steps and processes in retrieving all these funds and constantly update the public particularly members of this coalition on progress made so far so that we can assist them get back the money in case they are facing challenges.” He urged the new Board to quicken its pace to save SADA from total collapse. “It is worth sharing with the public that the new leadership of SADA has really worked so hard to win back the lost confidence of Ghana’s development partners in SADA and these partners are now totally prepared to support SADA with both technical and financial resources but only on condition that the government of Ghana whose sole responsibility is to improve the lives of its people take the lead in doing what is expected of it: Ghanaians will not therefore allow government to misconduct itself and deny Ghanaians this second opportunity from our development partners.”
Source – Citifm