Politics of Sun, 22 Apr 20182

I’m not noisy, but I am working – Zongo Devt Minister to critics

The Minister for Inner-City and Zongo Development, Abubakar Boniface Saddique has rubbished critics who say his outfit has done nothing since being created.

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

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

Citing an example of the Ministry’s agenda, he said next Saturday, “I’m launching ‘Clean Zongos’ [a sanitation initiative]. It 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 on the ground, that is where you will appreciate the President’s wisdom and foresight in creating that ministry.”

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His 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.

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2017 priority areas

The priority projects in the Ministry’s 2017 Action plan included access road improvement, alley paving, tertiary drainage construction, solid and liquid waste management, neighborhood greening, educational and scholarship support, primary health care facilities, vocational skill training and business incubation, as well as business development support in terms of credit, training and basic tools and service facilitation.

Other focus areas included local economic development infrastructure, such as markets and 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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