The Zongo Development Fund (ZDF) initiated by the government has come under attack and is being touted as the New Patriotic Party’s design to woo the Zongo communities for their votes in subsequent elections.
This growing perception and allegation is being championed by the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) and other civil society groups.
However, speaking to DAILY GUIDE in Kete Krachi, the Minister for Zongo and Inner City Development, Alhaji Boniface Abubakar Saddique has dispelled the claims saying, “The Ministry and the fund will not discriminate.”
He said the Ministry and the fund was set-up to accelerate socio-economic and infrastructure development in Zongo and Inner cities that are lagging behind in development. He said the fact that the fund was called Zongo Development Fund (ZDF) did not mean disbursement from it will be limited to the Zongos.
“Don’t be surprised if you hear that the name of the fund has changed from Zongo Development Fund to Zongo and Inner Cities Development Fund (ZIC Fund). That tells you that our intention is clear. I am challenged to ensure that both Zongos and Inner cities are transformed.
“Moreso, not all people living in the Zongos are Muslims. Zongos and Inner cities have heterogeneous population who are usually bonded together in a special way,” he added.
He has therefore called for unity among residents in Zongo and Inner cities, saying “We should not allow politics to divide us.”
He also advised the youth not to allow themselves to be lured into violence, but instead invest their time and energy into developing a vocation.
Mr Abubakar Saddique said the seed capital for the fund, GH¢219.5million allocated by the government earlier this year was not only inadequate, but untouchable because of the absence of a legal backing.
To this end, he appealed to Chiefs, Imams, Assembly members, parliamentarians and all other interest groups to collaborate with the Ministry as it goes round to sensitize beneficiaries, collect data, conduct research and put together a draft bill for the perusal of cabinet and parliament for the necessary action before the end of July 2017.
The Minister who was accompanied by the Deputy Volta Regional Minister, Maxwell Blagogee interacted with beneficiary communities like Banda, Dambai, Kete Krachi, Hohoe, Nkwanta, Ho and Kadjebi all in the Volta Region. The Minister and his team had so far toured seven regions.
From Fred Duodu, Kete Krachi ( [email protected] )