The Northern Development Authority (NDA) is set to begin sale of abandoned tricycles within its premises to interested persons within its jurisdiction as part of measures to prevent them from further deterioration.
This is in line with the recommendations of an adhoc committee constituted by the Board of NDA to determine the current status of the tricycles, to identify and determine quantities sold or distributed to beneficiaries and state of indebtedness of beneficiaries amongst others.
Dr Abdel-Majeed Haroun, Acting Chief Executive Officer of the NDA, announced this at a News conference in Tamale on Monday to shed light on why some of the tricycles imported by the defunct Savannah Accelerated Development Authority (SADA) were left at the mercy of the weather in Tamale.
He said a 2018 re-valuation of the status of the tricycles imported in 2015 showed that they depreciated by up to 60 per cent adding they would be sold at prices ranging from GHc1,800 to GHc4,000.
In 2015, SADA entered a Private Public Partnership PPP with UNIK Savannah Limited for the procurement of 5,000 tricycles under the tricycle project at a cost of $9,500,000.
SADA issued a letter of guarantee for the PPP while UNIK Savannah Limited was to procure, assemble and retail tricycles and motorcycles as well as identify market officers or agents, and, through a hire purchase agreement, to sell out the tricycles via a credit system process.
Out of the 5,000 tricycles that were imported, 3,000 were assembled, 2,239 were released or sold and 732 left under unfriendly weather conditions.
Currently, there are a total of about 2,000 of the unassembled tricycles.
Dr Haroun said it was clear that having planned the procurement of thousands of bulky goods, SADA failed to anticipate the storage facility needs for the consignment “Thus no proper facility was provided for the assembled tricycles leaving them under the mercy of the weather for years and resulting in a significant depreciation of up to 60 per cent according to the latest valuation by the State Transport Company (STC) Limited”.
He said “Out of the total of GH¢33,649, 200 expected from the sale of the tricycles, only a woeful GH¢1,258,271 payments were made by beneficiaries leaving an outstanding balance of GH¢32,390,929”.
He said “Marketing officers of UNIK Savannah Limited were fingered in fraudulent inclination after they reportedly received payments from some beneficiaries, but failed to account for same” adding “In the wake of this, monies that were expected to be paid into a special account at Stanbic Bank to amortize a letter of credit guaranteed by the authority were never paid”.
He said “to SADA’s credit, it is on record that SADA, itself dissatisfied by their own very poor performance at the time, reported the matter to the Economic and Organised Crime Office (EOCO) for investigation”.
He said “With the change of government in 2017, there was a heightened inclination to theft of the machines resulting in some military intervention in extreme cases to safeguard the property of the Authority”.
He stated that “It is disheartening that a project that is to help ameliorate the plight of poor persons within the NDA operational zone could be mismanaged to this magnitude and it gives us room to ask if the then SADA Management of the era would have employed the same management skills, if it were their personal resources?
He said “Therefore as per Board’s instructions, Management of NDA will pursue diligently all beneficiaries for recoveries of monies owed to the state”.
He emphasised “We are by this urging those who are still indebted to the authority to make efforts in settling their indebtedness before they are named and shamed”.