GH¢19m Blown On Ghost Tractors

Alex Afenyo-Markin
The New Patriotic Party (NPP) Member of Parliament for Effutu, Alex Afenyo-Markin, yesterday told Parliament that he was empathising with the people of the three northern regions for the total neglect the National Democratic Congress (NDC) government has shown to them by completely scrapping expenses on the Savannah Accelerated Development Authority (SADA) from the 2015 budget.

He said he was shocked and saddened by the action of the government to stifle the operations of SADA, even though the NDC government which draws gargantuan support from the north claims that it wants to use SADA to bridge the poverty gap between the north, where poverty is endemic, and the south.

He also asked the government to come and explain to Ghanaians what the GH¢19 million intended for the purchase of more than 100 tractors to support SADA projects was used for, since the Agams Group of Companies which the government said was contracted to supply the tractors had come out openly to deny that such contract was given to them.

“Mr Speaker, when officials of SADA appeared before the Finance Committee of Parliament of which I am a member, to justify its budget for the 2014 fiscal year, they said they spent GH¢19 million for the purchase of tractors under the agricultural programme of SADA, but through my meticulous checks from the company no such money was given to it,” he said, stressing that he had documents from Agams Group of Company which claim that the company never received any money for the supply of tractors under SADA.

Mr Afenyo-Markin made the revelations in his contribution to the debate on the 2015 financial policy and budget statement of the government on the floor of Parliament yesterday.

According to him, the government must tell the people of Ghana where that money is after Agams Group of Company had come out to deny that such a contract was given to them.

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Afenyo-Markin’s revelations incensed members of the Majority NDC who tried to stop his contributions to demand that he provide documentary evidence to that effect.

Afenyo-Markin said he was speaking on authority and that the Speaker must allow him to finish with his contribution after which he would produce the documentary evidence, which he did.

He said functionaries of the NDC government took advantage of the people of northern Ghana in whose name SADA was established, to siphon money meant for development in the three northern regions for their selfish gains.

The Effutu MP asked Parliament to probe that ‘missing’ money. He also chastised the NDC government for having a strong penchant to borrow at random.

“Mr Speaker, we cannot have a situation where the government will be so desperate to borrow anyhow without regard to the unfavourable terms of condition,” he said, adding that the $172 million loan for the Kasoa Interchange and the $1.5 billion Chinese Development Bank loan are very bad loans because of the ‘stringent’ and unfavourable terms of payment attached to them.

He noted that the unfettered love by the government to go after any loan had contributed largely to the worsening economic situation the country is experiencing since a chunk of revenues generated by the state are used to service these loans and not for concrete development.

“Mr Speaker, this government has always been complaining about lack of funds to undertake development projects with many arrears outstanding, yet it is the government that has borrowed so much in addition to revenues and resources from our oil discovery. So where are all these monies?” he queried.

By Thomas Fosu Jnr

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