The 11th Biennial National Congress of BONABOTO and message to Government

One of the Civil Society Organizations in the country which is very vibrant and wields so much power and influence in society is christened BONABOTO. The acronym of BONABOTO refers to the   citizens who hail from the environs of the Bolgatanga, Nabdam, Bongo and Tongo (BONABOTO) Districts of the Upper East Region.

Success Story of BONABOTO

Established in the early 1970s,  it is very important to stressed that as result of the impact BONABOTO  had  made over the  years in  complementing governments’ efforts in development including sharpen  policies and programmes , it  had  led    to the springing up   of many of  its   branches in all the  10 regions in  Ghana  including countries in Africa and the developed world  such as the United Kingdom and  the United States of America.

Aside the above ,  the establishment   of the Education Endowment Fund, dubbed” the Bonaboto Education Assistance Fund (BEAF) and the  annual   award  Public Servants Scheme in the BONABOTO  catchment  areas   are among some of the contributions the Association had made to National Development.

 Furthermore, one of the major achievements of BONABOTO which would go down well in the history of Ghana is the annual medical outrage programmes often organized for the Health Professionals such as Medical Doctors and Nurses belonging to the groups to travel to the Northern, Upper East and Upper West

Regions to help address the challenge confronting the shortage of doctors in the regions. 

The donation of medical equipment often contributed with the support of BONABOTO members living in the Diaspora to the Bolgatanga Regional hospital in the regional capital of Upper East Region and other District hospitals in the region as well as parts of the country also needs to be commended.   

Message to Government

At the just -ended11th Biennial National Congress of BONABOTO held in December 2018 at the Sumbrungu community, near the Bolgatanga Municipality of the Upper East Region, the group raised a number of concerns bordering Northern Ghana and called on the ruling government to help address them.

Sustainable Funding for NDA

 One of the critical concerns the Association raised was centred on the scraping of the levy (TAX) on non-petroleum import products with the coming into force the new Northern Development Authority (NDA) ACT, Act 2017 which came to replace the Savannah Accelerated Development Authority (SADA).

The National President of BONABOTO, Mr Andrews Akolaa ,  who stressed  that BONABOTO as  non-political,  non–religious and non -ethnical group, was not  worried about the back and forth change of the  name SADA to  NDA  by the previous and the  present  governments, but the change of  the source of funding.

He explained that apart from the seed capital, the erstwhile SADA Act 805-2010spelt out clearly a levy (TAX) on non-petroleum imports as the major and sustainable source of funding for SADA activities, but wondered why that had been scrapped   under the new NDA ACT, Act 2017.

“Under the NDA ACT, Act 2017,  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 

The National President lambasted the Northern caucus in Parliament for not backing the call of the minority leader, Mr Haruna Iddrrisu, when he drew the Speaker of Parliament attention to the issue in Parliament.

Concern  about  Gov’t  delay   in upgrading  Bolgatanga  Polytechnic  into Technical  University  Another major worrying issue  the group  mentioned   was the delay of the ruling government in upgrading the Bolgatanga Polytechnic which  had now met all the requirements  into a Technical University.

 Roads, Regional Hospital, Airport Project and Defunct Factories 

Whilst commending the ruling government for  working on  some of the roads in the region,   the National President called on the government  to complete   the road linking the  Bolgatanga in Upper East Region to Wa in the Upper West Region and speed up the construction of the ongoing Bolgatanga Regional hospital and the Bolgatanga Airport project  which had been stalled as well as  revamp the defunct  Pwalugu and Zaurugu meat factories before  embarking on any major venture of the One District One,  One Factory  

 In conclusion  , there is the urgent need for government to initiate pragmatic mechanisms to ensure  generate sustainable funding for the implementation of the NDA  activities  as well as  work towards addressing the other remaining concerns

of the group to help bridge the development gaps between the southern and the northern sector.  

By Samuel Adadi Akapule

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