Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) within the Savannah Accelerated Development Authority (SADA) ecological zone have threatened a demonstration in Accra specifically at the Flagstaff House over the failure by government to make budgetary allocation to SADA in the year 2016.
The planned demonstration they revealed, is scheduled for January 2016 and would be expected to draw huge numbers of people including prominent individuals, MPs, Musicians and people who matter from the SADA ecological zone onto the streets of Accra to later converge at the seat of government .
The CSOs observed that the failure by government to include some allocation to SADA in the 2016 budget smacks of disregard and its unwillingness to meet the purpose of interventions SADA is expected to bring.
SADA is currently running its projects with support from donor partners including the World Bank. Budgetary allocation to the authority was conspicuously missing in the 2016 budget presented to parliament by the Finance Minister Mr. Seth Tekper.
But in an interview with Bolgatanga-based A1 Radio spokesperson for the Civil Society Organizations Bismark Ayorogo Adongo said President John Dramani Mahama since assumption of office has not made any financial commitment to SADA and this is worrying considering his status as a President from the north.
He added that budgetary allocation to the authority in 2013 never came into fruition as no monies were actually given to the authority.
“This is an insult considering the fact that government only made an allocation of GH₵ 400,000 to SADA in 2015 after an outcry by civil society organizations and some members of parliament which was woefully inadequate as compared to allocations made by previous governments which was not below GH₵ 25 million”, he said.
“Budgetary allocation to SADA is not a function of choice by any government. It is not whether government wants to allocate resources to SADA or not but government is enjoined by law to make the allocation. We are referring to article 36 of the 1992 constitution and section 18 of the SADA Act 805 which mandates government to make an allocation” he said.
Ayorogo expressed disappointment over the inability of President Mahama to facilitate and ensure proper support and functioning of the authority since he hails from the north.
“Even if President Mahama hates the people of Northern Ghana where he comes from, it was through parliament came Act 805 which mandates government to make annual budgetary allocations to SADA. So if we have our own uncle or brother there trying to engage in lawlessness or illegality then it’s unfortunate. It is the people of Ghana who are saying allocate those resources to SADA and so you have no right to say that you will not allocate resources to SADA”, He added
Though he acknowledged that the authority is receiving funding from donor partners to run its projects and activities, government has the sole responsibility of improving the lives of its people and so leaving SADA to be funded by donor partners is a shared responsibility and breach of the law.