¢150bn Blown On Guinea Fowls


Photo Reporting: Finance & Economic Planning¢150bn Blown On Guinea Fowls

26 March 2013

Savannah Accelerated Development Authority (SADA) in 2012 is reported to have spent GH¢15million (¢150billion) on guinea fowls in what is seen more as a National Democratic Congress (NDC) election project.



Yesterday, further clarifications being sought by the Member of Parliament for Effutu, Alex Afenyo-Markin, about the GH¢15million investment on guinea fowl by the SADA in 2012, as captured in the budget, caused a stir in Parliament as members on the majority side, especially those from the north, raised questions about the motive for the clarification.

Mr Afenyo-Markin, in supporting the budget estimate of GH¢312,345,521 for government machinery, said it would be very ideal for the SADA to furnish Parliament with better information on the nature of the investment and how many people indeed benefited from the guinea fowl investment.

He said investment of GH¢15 million on guinea fowl was so huge that better particulars on the investment should be given to parliament for the people’s representatives to know exactly how the money was expended.

He indicated that the GH¢15million investment in guinea fowl smacked of fishy deals which urgently demanded further proper questioning and investigation.

¢320bn On Afforestation

The MP for Effutu also raised concerns about the expenditure of GH¢32million (¢320billion) on an afforestation programme by the same SADA in the north, stressing that should also be properly scrutinised by parliament.

He wondered why these two areas of investment did not continue this year because those areas should be a process of viable investment to help eradicate poverty in the north.

“SADA decided not to invest again in these areas and no explanation was given,” he said.

Mr Afenyi-Markin also noted with concern why in 2012, the government spent GH¢45million (¢450billion) on Micro-Finance and Small Loans (MASLOC), out of which 349 vehicles were purchased for distribution to some individuals but in the 2013 budget, only GH¢5million had been allocated, wondering whether that was done to solicit votes in 2012 by the government.

NDC’s Anger

Mr Afenyo-Markin’s contribution compelled some members of the majority to be on their feet and when the Majority Chief Whip, Alhaji Muntaka Mohammed Mubarak, was given the floor, he wondered why Mr Afenyo-Markin zeroed in on guinea fowl investment by SADA as if that was not a proper investment or a misplaced investment.

According to him, guinea fowl rearing in the north was as important as poultry farming or piggery in southern Ghana.

He explained that many indigenes in the north were engaged in guinea fowl rearing, which fetched them incomes when they sold them to support themselves and their families.

“I really do not think the GH¢15million investment in guinea fowl was misplaced at all. Indeed, the investment has helped in improving the living standards of most farmers who are into guinea fowl production,” he said.

SADA Overspends

Making further contribution to the motion on the estimates for the running of Government Machinery, the MP for Sekondi, Papa Owusu-Ankomah, said SADA overspent its budget by GH¢60million.

According to him, parliament approved GH¢30million for expenditure by SADA in 2012, but it ended up spending GH¢90million without regard to the appropriation act.

This year, an amount of GH¢20.5million has been allocated to SADA to be spent on assets, compensation of employees and goods and services.

He said the Ministry of Finance was fond of citing contingencies as basis for extra expenditure but there was no law by parliament that established contingency fund, even though it had been catered for in the Constitution.

He urged parliament to establish a law on contingency fund so that it could be regulated by parliament.

Papa Owusu-Ankomah also appealed to the various select committees of parliament to periodically call the various ministries, departments (MDAs) and agencies to give account of their expenditure in the course of the financial year so that the situation where these MDAs overspent beyond the appropriation act would be avoided.

The MP for Sekondi also expressed concern about the absence of a national security policy which, he said, did not augur well for the security direction of the country.

He said it was incumbent on the national security to submit an annual report to Parliament but it had not been doing that; but when it came to allocation of money to the unit for its operations, parliament was being called upon to do that.

The Office of Government Machinery comprises Office of the President, Office of the Head of Civil Service, Regional Co-ordinating Councils, Office of National Security, Savannah Accelerated Development Authority, Scholarships Secretariat, Microfinance and Small Loans Centre, Ghana Investment Promotion Centre, National Population Council, Public Records and Archives Administration Department, Commissions and Councils, Ghana Aids Commission, Internal Audit Agency, National Identification Authority (NIA), National Pension and Regulatory Authority and Management Services.

Under the Office of the President, GH¢11,474,674 was allocated for general administration of the office; GH¢14,799,119 allocated to the office of Chief of Staff; GH¢7,323,560 allocated to the Office of the Vice President; GH¢2,433,000 allocated to cabinet secretariat; GH¢600,000 for Press Secretariat; GH¢21,278,800 allocated to the Millennium Development Authority (MiDA); GH¢1,468,654 given to the Public Sector Reform Secretariat; GH¢2,029,800 for the Policy Coordination and Delivery Unit; GH¢289,000 allocated to the African Fund for Bio Fuels Development; GH¢406,390 given to the Policy Evaluation and Oversight Unit; GH¢705,234 given to the State Enterprises Commission while the Divestiture Implementation Committee was allocated GH¢308, 910.

The Scholarships Secretariat was allocated GH¢32,465,305.

Debates on the various estimates continue today and it is expected that the debate will close for parliament to rise for the Easter holidays.

Source: Thomas Fosu Jnr/D-Guide



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