The Savannah Accelerated Development Authority (SADA) has disclosed that it is in the process of retrieving a GHc32 million outstanding debt owed it by Unik Savannah Limited, a private company, that was engaged to supply tricycles and motorbikes to some residents within the SADA zone.
There were media reports that the amount was unaccounted for and was being investigated by the Economic and Organised Crimes Office (EOCO) but SADA in a statement said it reported the case to EOCO because efforts to have Unik Savannah rectify some “irregularities” identified in the programme failed.
Under the programme some 2,157 tricycles were to be imported and assembled by Unik Savannah in 2015 and sold to residents within the SADA zone on hire purchase payable within two years.
The programme was aimed at creating an employment opportunities for the youth within the SADA zone.
Earlier reports suggested that about GHc33 million was supposed to be realized by SADA after the two year period but as at July 2016 only a little over GHc1 million was paid them by Unik Savannah.
“A few months into the operations, however, SADA realised that there were some irregularities around the business. Subsequently, its Board of Directors, with the consent of the Unik Savannah Ltd. Board of Directors, appointed an independent firm to undertake a review of the operations and to advice on the way forward,” the statement signed by management of SADA stated.
The statement added that “following the review and several failed efforts to have the management of Unik Savannah Ltd. rectify the problems identified, the SADA Board felt compelled to refer the matter to the Economic and Organised Crimes Office (EOCO), the specialized agency of government with the mandate to monitor, investigate and prosecute any offence arising from such matters.”
SADA further noted that beyond the EOCO investigation, an inter-ministerial committee constituted earlier in 2017 over the issue provided guidance as to how the remaining tricycles could be better managed and the outstanding debts collected adding that “an interim management committee has began implementing these recommendations.”
“Without prejudice to EOCO’s work, it is worth emphasizing that it was SADA that detected the irregularities in the operations of the company, took steps to have them properly evaluated and subsequently reported the matter to EOCO in accordance with the law,” SADA added.
It further assured that public of its alertness in protecting the public purse at all times.
“While we wait the EOCO findings, we wish to assure the public that we are alert to the protection of the integrity of the Authority and the protection of public funds.”
SADA, a social intervention porgramme failed to produce the needed results in the past because of cases of mismanagement and corruption which saw the laudable initiative lose millions of Ghana cedis.
This forced former President John Dramani Mahama to replace its chief executive as well as the board.