Saddique defends Zongo Devt Ministry

 Alhaji Saddique

Alhaji Saddique

The Minister for Inner-City and Zongo Development, Alhaji Abubakar Boniface Saddique has debunked accusation that his outfit has done nothing since being created.

Some critics feel the Ministry of Inner Cities and Zongo Development could have been integrated into the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development due to the similarity of some of their functions.

However, Alhaji Saddique, who is the Member of Parliament (MP) for Madina, stated that he is not like other officials who tout their own successes as he rather prefers that his works speak for him and when he gets out of his shell, his critics will soon see his work.

Citing an example of the ministry’s agenda, he disclosed that next Saturday, “I’m launching ‘Clean Zongos’, a sanitation initiative which will start at Nima and from there, we will begin to replicate it in other regions and other communities.
“We are not the noisy type but when I start working, you will see that I am actually working.

“I want you [the media] to judge from the back, I don’t want to judge myself, as soon as I begin to take you to see what is going on the ground that is where you will appreciate the President’s wisdom and foresight in creating the ministry,” Alhaji Saddique intimated.

The ministry was set up to oversee efforts to upgrade the slums and inner-city zones, many of which lack the required levels of planning and development.

It is also being bolstered by a $50 million Zongo Development Fund, which was a line item in the 2017 budget.

As a campaign promise, the New Patriotic Party (NPP) promised to establish the Zongo Development Fund to regenerate Zongo communities across the country.

The core programme areas of the ministry are education, health, sanitation, business development, infrastructure and cultural promotion.

The ministry is expected to work with the metropolitan, municipal and district assemblies to ensure that the projects are well targeted at the intended beneficiaries.

The priority projects in the ministry’s 2017 action plan included access road improvement, alley paving, tertiary drainage construction, solid and liquid waste management, neighbourhood greening, educational and scholarship support.

Other focus areas included primary health care facilities, vocational skill training, business incubation, as well as business development support in terms of credit, training, basic tools and service facilitation.

The rest included local economic development infrastructure, such as markets, technology hubs, documentation of Inner City and Zongos heritage, cuisine promotion, built heritage listing and convening inter-faith and tribal dialogues.-

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