The Savannah Accelerated Development Authority (SADA) has revealed plans to issue loans to farmers as well as Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in the three regions located in the northern part of Ghana.
This, the authority noted, will be done through the establishment of a bank to be named Savannah Investment and Development Bank, which has received a positive review from the Ministry of Finance, according to the Chief Executive of SADA, Mr Charles Abugre.
The new drive is to help provide capital for businesses and local groups within the SADA Zone and forms part of moves to drive growth and development in the northern part of Ghana.
“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.
He further explained that other business partners have shown interest in the idea with advanced discussion of collaborating to make the vision a reality.
“A number of development partners are very interested in the idea. And one of the ways in which it is crystallised is to create what you call a wholesale bank,” he stressed.
He continued: “We don’t have long-term and medium-term loans. It is all very short-term, which makes businesses very difficult to do. Those who want to establish motels and hotels across the SADA zone, for example, will have no worries.”
The establishment of the bank comes amid questions that have been raised by the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) of parliament in relation to financial infractions in the past, amounting to millions of Ghana cedis that have been written off as bad debt and misappropriation of funds.
This was contained in the 2013 Auditor General’s report. Additionally, the authority’s former CEO, Gilbert Seidu Iddi, wasted over GHS186, 000 on a trip to Turkey, four years ago.
Meanwhile, the Vice Chairman of the PAC, Mr Samuel Atta Akyea, has described the report as very embarrassing.