Vice President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia has challenged former President John Dramani Mahama to mention the legacies of infrastructure development in the five regions of the North through the introduction of the Savannah Accelerated Development Authority (SADA) under his Presidency.
Addressing separate durbars at Tatali/Sanguli and other parts of the Northern Region as part of his three-day tour of the area, the Vice President told the Chiefs and people of the region that, the erstwhile John Mahama government doled out US$100 million into SADA and yet there was nothing to show for this colossal amount.
He described SADA as a monumental and inexplicable waste of tax payers’ resources.
Vice President Bawumia expressed disgust at the insensitive manner in which the Mahama administration exploited the poor people of the north and wasted millions of dollars under the guise of developing the northern part of Ghana through SADA.
“The SADA programme under John Dramani Mahama was a monumental and inexplicable waste of tax payer resources. A monumental and inexplicable waste and you are dealing with our people; the poor people of the north. And you take money meant for their development into guinea fowls flying schemes.
“Where is the legacy of SADA?” Dr Bawumia asked, pointing out that, “They said they have invested in tree planting. We say where are the trees? They say they have all been burnt by fire”.
Guinea fowls fly to Burkina Faso
It would be recalled that management of SADA in 2014 made hilarious media headlines when they disclosed in one of their responses to the whereabouts of the hundreds of Guinea fowls they claimed to be rearing that the birds had flown to Burkina Faso.
SADA’s response followed fact-finding visits by journalists to the facility where the animals were being reared by Asongtaba Cottage Industry owned by Roland Agambire at Sumbrungu near Bolgatanga in the Upper East region.
The media, during the numerous visits, only spotted a handful of birds, contrary to reports that they were in thousands, in justification of the huge sums of money government sunk into the project.
The management at the time struggled to explain the whereabouts of the rest of the birds to the extent it was revealed they may have flown to an unknown destination in neighbouring Burkina Faso.
Akufo-Addo is a trusted leader
Vice President Bawumia stated that President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo is a different type of leader who talks development and does development, adding, “this is why you are seeing all these projects across Tatale/Sanguli”.
He urged the Chiefs and people of the area, to continue to support President Akufo-Addo, who has kept faith with them, and not someone who failed the north.
“Former President Mahama failed you and he now says you should give him another chance so that he will come and do the job that someone is already doing.
“Nana Akufo-Addo is already doing the job and he is someone you can trust so why change someone you can trust for the person who failed you?”
According to him, there was uneven distribution of development in the country under Mr. Mahama as some parts of the nation witnessed faster development than others.
“If the government likes you, they bring you development but if they don’t like you then you won’t get anything”, Dr Bawumia noted.
This type of development, according to him, informed President Akufo-Addo to take a different approach in managing the country’s economy and the development policies such that everybody will benefit from the country’s resources.
“That is why we said that free SHS is for everybody, Planting for Food and Job is for everybody, we said one constituency, one ambulance and Tatale/Sanguli constituency you have your ambulance, haven’t you had your ambulance? We said one, village one dam and you have your share of the dams.
“And that is the vision of Nana Akufo-Addo, to make sure we share the development for everybody and so under Nana Akufo-Addo we have the Northern Development Authority (NDA). We have many projects that are going on across the Tatale/Sanguli district”, he added.
Over 80 projects in Tatale/Sanguli
In the Tatale/Sanguli district, Vice President Bawumia disclosed that the NPP government has completed 69 boreholes, 5 small town water systems, 7 one village, one dam projects; completed some classroom blocks and teachers’ quarters and many other toilet facilities to improve water and sanitation through the NDA in just three and half years.
On a visit to the Gbewa Palace when he paid homage to the Overlord of Dagbon, Dr Bawumia announced that President Akufo-Addo in its second term, will convert the Pong Tamale Veterinary College in the northern region into a University for Agriculture.
He explained that the government will do this to expand University placement in the northern part of Ghana due to the influx of students into the various universities in the country.
Vice President Bawumia noted that the establishment of the university will boost agricultural skills and knowledge of Ghanaians to transform the agricultural sector of the nation.
He also told Ya Naa Abukari II that government has also talked to the University for Development Studies to establish a satellite campus of UDS in Yendi.
Vice President Bawumia hinted that the President last Wednesday at the National Security Council agreed for the resurfacing of the Yendi airstrip so that domestic flights can now land in the Yendi municipality.
“The Akufo-Addo government intends to build a military airstrip here in Yendi. You will soon see military planes taking off and landing here in Yendi which will also facilitate in speedy travels during very essential occasions”, he revealed.
According to checks at the Ministry for Aviation feasibility studies for 10 new airports, airstrips and helipads, are expected to be completed in the country soon.
The studies will cover proposed Takoradi Airport and Upper East Airport; development of airstrips and helipads at Mole, Yendi, Kete Krachi, Tarkwa, Obuasi, Koforidua, West-Central and Kyebi.
The total cost for the feasibility studies, to be undertaken by the Aviation Ministry, for the 10 aerodromes and seven other projects is GHC24.7million.
This was contained in the report of the Committee on Roads and Transport on the Annual Budget Estimate of the Ministry of Aviation for 2020 Financial Year.