Zongo Minister Goes East

Alhaji Boniface Abubakar Saddique

Alhaji Boniface Abubakar Saddique

Alhaji Boniface Abubakar Saddique, the Minister for Inner-City and Zongo Development, has held a consultative forum in the Suhum Municipality of the Eastern Region as part of his tour of the region to deliberate on the Zongo Development Fund.

The move was to also outline his vision for the development of Zongo communities.

The Minister, addressing the chiefs and Muslim leaders in Suhum, said that every district has a Zongo community and that each one has different needs and challenges.

According to him, the stakeholder consultation would enable him to have first-hand information about some of the challenges and needs to enable him properly deal with them.

The Minister, who is expected to tour the region for three days, noted that both Regional and District Secretariats would be set up to facilitate and coordinate the management of the projects successfully.

“The projects will focus on infrastructure and sanitation enhancement, economic empowerment, cultural promotion, security and crime control for the Zongo communities” he added.

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The Minister said potable drinking water would be provided to Zongo communities, adding that government would also provide them with proper drainage system to improve the road network, as well electricity and street lighting system.

The Minster, who doubles as the Member of Parliament for Abokobi/ Madina Constituency, indicated that clinics would be built to ensure easy access to health care.

The Minister said the youth would be trained to enable them acquire entrepreneur and employment skills.

Touching on social development, Alhaji Abubakar said schools and regenerative health facilities would be provided for Zongo communities.

Hon Boniface noted that in every district, a secretariat would be set up with at least three staff and an advisory council across the country to deliberate on their needs and interest areas for implementation.

He said a bottom-up approach would be used in addressing the various challenges.

“The purpose is to listen to the people, hear their concerns to enable me have solution to their challenges,” he said.

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The Minister said his first responsibility is to establish the Ministry with an Act.

Currently, the Minister said when the Minister of Finance was presenting the budget, GH₵218 million was allocated to the Ministry by the government as seed capital for the Zongo Development Fund.

The Minister said after the deliberation during stakeholders’ meeting from the various Zongo Communities, his ministry will submit a report to cabinet and defend it.

After cabinet approval, it would go to the Attorney-General to be put into a legal language and later presented to parliament.  In Parliament, it will go through the various stages and they will debate on it.  When Parliament approves it, the fund will then be given legal backing, he said.

He noted that after Parliamentary approval, development partners, diplomatic missions and individuals can now come in to support.

To facilitate the project, the minister said his ministry would collaborate with over 15 ministries such as Roads, Interior, Energy and Local Government and Rural Development.

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He noted that his ministry would collaborate effectively with Local Government Ministry since most of the projects and programmes would be channeled through the MMDAs.

Margaret Darko, Municipal Chief Executive (MCE) for Suhum, said on the Assembly would coordinate the activities of all agencies and ministries, adding that they would collaborate with other ministries whose activities are not different from the Ministry of Inner-City and Zongo Development.

The Member of Parliament (MP) for Suhum, Frederick Opare Ansah, also noted that “we are going to work with them.”

From Daniel Bampoe, Suhum