Zongo Development Fund My Idea – Kamal-Deen
National Youth Organiser-aspirant of the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP), Kamal-Deen Abdulai, has said that the establishment of a Zongo Development Fund, was his idea.
Parliament passed the Zongo Development Fund Bill in November 2017, in fulfilment of a manifesto promise by President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo in the lead-up to the 2016 general elections, to establish a dedicated fund to cater to the development needs of predominantly Muslim-populated peri-urban communities.
The $50-million fund was allocated a seed amount of GHS219.5 in the 2017 budget and GHS150 million in the 2018 budget.
Minister of Inner City and Zongo Development, Boniface Abubakar Saddique, said the Fund would be deployed in five main areas, namely: infrastructure and sanitation; economic empowerment, social development, cultural promotion; and security and crime control.
Mr Saddique explained that roads, drains, clinics, water, electricity and street lighting would be provided in relevant communities under infrastructure and sanitation, while women and the youth would be trained in entrepreneurship and employment skills for economic empowerment. The beneficiaries, he said, would also be assisted to draw business plans and be supported to access credit from financial institutions.
Speaking to Umaru Amadu Sanda on Monday, 7 May 2018 on Accra-based Citi FM’s Point Blank segment of Eyewitness News, Mr Abdulai, who is the incumbent National Nasara Coordinator of the NPP, said had he not sold the idea of a Zongo Development Fund to then-flag bearer of the NPP, Nana Akufo-Addo, it would never have materialised.
“Today, we have a Zongo Minister, who is my good brother Hon. Boniface Saddique. We have, again, a law passed in parliament or enacted by parliament, establishing the Zongo Development Fund. With all humility, I will tell you this: This emanated from Kamal-Deen. I proposed it. Absolutely. And I can say without any equivocation”, he told Umaru Sanda Amadu who pressed for evidence.
“Let me tell you this”, Mr Abdulai continued: “You see, it is interesting many people do not follow what we do and what we say sometimes. I remember sometime back in 2016, somewhere in January going into February, I mean somewhere in January, thereabout, I walked to the flag bearer then, now the president of the republic. I said good evening to him, I went to his house and said: ‘Nana, there is this lofty idea I want to propose’. [He asked]: ‘What’s the idea?’ I said: ‘Well, I want to have a policy put in place, we have just come out with one or two concept papers on how to introduce a Zongo Development Fund. The NDC claims there is a safe haven for them in the zongos, the NDC claims people of the zongos are for them, but the last time I checked, they did nothing to ameliorate the living standards of the zongos. Now should you [Nana Akufo-Addo] come out with a manifesto with this inculcated in that manifesto, this policy, and, of course, give it all your pledge and your support that if you are voted for, you are going to establish it and make sure money goes into the zongos for infrastructure development, I believe we’ll be making a headway’.
“He [Nana Akufo-Addo] said: ‘An excellent idea’”, Mr Abdulai narrated.