SADA Board Charged To Transform Dream Into Reality
President John Evans Atta Mills yesterday inaugurated the Board of Directors of the Savannah Accelerated Development Authority (SADA), with a call on the directors to help transform the initiative of the government to develop the savannah areas into reality.
The nine-member board, under the chairmanship of Alhaji Alhassan Andani, a renowned manager and banker, has Mr Paul Victor Obeng, development engineer; Dr Alhassan Iddrisu, a senior economist at the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning, and Chief Musa Badimsugru Adam, a paramount chief, as members.
The rest are Mrs Blandina Battir, an educationist; Mrs Comfort Akanbangbiem Agamu Asokea, a legal practitioner; Mr Akwasi Addae-Boahene, a strategic management expert; Ms Victoria Okine, a gender expert, and Dr Sulley Gariba.
The President said the expertise and proven records of members were not in doubt, trusting that they would deliver for the good of the people.
He reminded members that majority of Ghanaians, particularly those in the north, had great expectations and stressed: “We want equity and seasoned development.”
President Mills assured the people that the government was serious with the introduction of the initiative, saying the take-off of the project was the difference between well-intended plans for the people and mere political gimmicks.
Parliament in August, 2010 passed the SADA Bill into law after which it received the Presidential accent in September, 2010, an act which attracted a lot of commendations from the people, especially those of northern descent.
The initiative was a demonstration of the government’s resolve to bridge the socio-economic gap between the Savannah regions of northern Ghana and the rest of the country.
President Mills said the inaugural ceremony was just the first step which would send signals to Ghanaians that the “Better Ghana” agenda was on course, noting that with the government declaring 2011 a year of action, SADA would get its fair share of the national cake.
Vice-President John Dramani Mahama said with the establishment of the board, the fate of millions of Ghanaians would change drastically in the right direction.
He said 80 per cent of industries were sited in Tema areas with between 15 and 16 per cent in Takoradi and Kumasi, a situation which had created imbalance in the distribution of industries in the country.
The imbalance in the industrial distribution, he said, had resulted in massive exodus of people to those big towns, adding that there was the urgent need for the board to lead in the national efforts to bridge the gap, so that people who lived in the Savannah areas would be able to secure employment to enhance their living standards.
“It is expected that in a decade or so massive migration will abate as a result of SADA,” the Vice-President said.
Mr Mahama said the development partners had expressed massive support and commitment to the project hence the government did not make any allocation for the SADA in the 2011 Budget.
He announced that a conference on SADA would be held early next year with the development partners to know the specific amount they would commit to the project to enable the government to prepare a supplementary budget.
He gave an assurance that there were enough funds to kick-start the project under SADA. The board chairman, Alhaji Andani, on behalf of the members, accepted the responsibility conferred on them and expressed the strong commitment to use their expertise and experience to deliver.
He assured the President that the board would observe the SADA law and copiously and consistently abide by the oath taken.