Govt urged to ensure sustainable funding for NDA

Dr Andrews Akolaa , addressing the  Biennial Congress

Dr Andrews Akolaa , addressing the Biennial Congress

Members of BONABOTO Union have appealed to the government to initiate pragmatic mechanisms to ensure sustainable funding for the implementation of activities of the Northern Development Authority (NDA).

BONABOTO Union which is made up of citizens and the indigenes from Bolgatanga, Nabdam, Bongo and Tongo (BONABOTO) districts of the Upper East Region also has branches in all the 10 regional capitals and in the diaspora.

The National President of BONABOTO, Dr Andrews Akolaa   made the call at the opening of the 11th Biennial National Congress held at Sumbrungu in the Bolgatanga Municipality of the Upper East Region on Friday.

He stressed that a sustainable funding for the implementation of NDA activities would help fast-track the goals of bridging the developmental gaps between the Northern and the Southern parts of the country as captured in the NDA document.

He explained that apart from the seed capital, the erstwhile SADA Act 805-2010 spelt out clearly a levy (tax) on non-petroleum imports as the major and sustainable source of funding for SADA activities, but missing in the new NDA ACT, Act 2017

“Under the NDA ACT Act2017, all development authorities including; Coastal, Middle Belt and Northern are to be funded from the one constituency, one million dollar funding based on the number of constituencies in each development authority area and the consolidated fund. One may ask, has the development gap between the north and south been already bridged?” the National President queried.

He called on the government to reverse the decision by ensuring that taxes are imposed on non-petroleum products   to help generate sustainable funding for the implementation of NDA activities.

Dr Akolaa raised concern over the delay in the construction of the Bolgatanga airport, the completion of the Bolgatanga Regional Hospital and called on the government to expedite action to address the concerns of the people in the region.

He urged municipal and district assemblies to ensure that in awarding contracts tree planting  was added to the contract and also impressed upon traditional rulers to take leadership roles by ensuring that all community members planted trees.

The president noted that apart from BONABOTO advocating to sharpen policies and development , it had over the years  contributed significantly in the socio-economic advancement  of the region and beyond and mentioned for instance the institutionalisation ofthe BONABOTO Education Assistance Fund(BEAF) which offers scholarships to the needy but the  most brilliant students.

The Upper East Regional Minister, Paulina Tangoba Abayage , who read  a speech on behalf of Vice President Mahamudu Bawumia, commended BONABOTO for complementing the  government’s efforts  in development  and said the occasion themed “Enhancing Integrated Community Development, the role of Aid” was in consonance with President Nana Akufo-Addo’s vision of Ghana Beyond Aid.

The occasion which attracted BONABOTO members, traditional and religious leaders, leaders of political parties, academicians, development practitioners, present and former regional ministers, the youth, municipal and district chief executives was also used to award six deserving public workers who distinguished themselves in office.

Dr Andrews Akolaa  addressing the BONABOTO Biennial Congress at the Sumbrungu community in the UER

Cross section of some of the BONABOTO members at the congress held at Sumbrungu of the UER

From Samuel Akapule, Sumbrungu

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