A former Northern Regional Minister, Prince Imoro Andani has lashed out at the Finance Ministry for granting the Savanna Accelerated Development Authority, (SADA) the go ahead to establish a bank.
In Mr. Andani’s view, the finance ministry’s decision is disappointing and must not be tolerated.
“Looking at their (SADA’s) background that isn’t right because if they have not been able to manage issues like simple projects, how will they be able to manage a bank?” he queried.
SADA late last year, hinted of plans to establish a bank this year for the accelerated growth in the savanna zone with a startup capital of $100 million.
The Authority at the time emphasized that the bank, to be known as Savannah Investment and Development Bank, will seek to expand economic activities in the Northern horizon.
The present CEO of the SADA, Charles Abugre in an interview following his appearance at the Public Accounts Committee (PAC)’s sitting over the 2013/2014 Auditor General’s report, explained that the Ministry of Finance has cleared it to go ahead with the processes to get the bank established.
But speaking to Citi Business News on the matter, Prince Andani argued that SADA cannot run a bank with its huge cited debts.
“How are they going to account for our monies? They will simply give out loans the same way and then come back to tell the good people of Ghana that they have defaulted on the loan.”
The former Northern regional Minister however advised that the money should rather be channelled into other existing banks rather than be given to SADA knowing too well they will not be able to manage a bank.
“That will save you another conduit or money to be siphoned because banking is a professional area. We have enough banks so even if government was considering SADA, government could partner or SADA could partner with other existing successful banks within the country and already operational because you just don’t expand your scope without the professional capacity to deal with the issue.”
Prince Imoro Andani further intimated, “The mandate of SADA is not to create a bank, the mandate of SADA is to fill in the development gap and the gaps are there so let us maintain a focus and I think that establishing a bank under SADA is wrong by all standards and that should not be tolerated”.
Finance Ministry clears SADA to establish Bank
Chief Executive Officer of SADA, Charles Abugre told Citi Business News the Finance Ministry has permitted it to establish a bank.
This was despite the huge misappropriation of money recorded in its operations by the Auditor General’s report.
Mr. Charles Abugre emphasized that the bank will seek to expand economic activities in the Northern horizon.
“We are looking at different ways to do this. One way that we have been flagging is the idea of creating financial institution. We call it the Savannah Investment and Development Bank. Fortunately after discussions with the Ministry of Finance, they have given us a no-objection to pursue the idea, meaning all the idea is sensible,” he said.
PAC summons SADA
Meanwhile the Public Accounts Committee summoned SADA to clarify issues of financial impropriety that have saddled the Authority.
Some of the Audit findings SADA is being held accountable for include failure to recover a one million dollars advance granted to Human Construction Engineering group, wasteful expenditure of about GHC 18,7000 on a trip to turkey and GHC69,000 on an unapproved trip to Birmingham and Berlin, among others.
By: Jessica Ayorkor Aryee/citibusinessnews.com/Ghana