The Zongo Development Fund will not be abused on social and traditional engagements, the Minister-nominee for Zongo Development and Inner cities, Alhaji Boniface Abubakar Siddique has said.
Alhaji Siddique warned that the Zongo Development fund would not be a “Father Christmas” fund for the targeted beneficiaries. Indications from government are that, it will be allocating $50 million dollars to the fund, which will be an item in the 2017 budget.
During Alhaji Siddique Boniface’s vetting for the Zongo Development and Inner cities portfolio, concerns were raised that the fund could go into welfare support for zongo communities.
But Alhaji Siddique’s said, “my role is not to sponsor or help somebody christen or name a child. There won’t be packages for funerals. If I am coming from somebody’s funeral, I am coming as a member of parliament or as a friend or as a family member.”
To temper expectations, Alhaji Siddique said he will make the zongos aware of the priority areas of the fund, which will include infrastructure development.
“We are talking about stocking libraries, helping to rehabilitate schools in the zongos, not the whole the country,” he said.
Also in the education sector, he said they will empower Arabic instructors with the fund.
“It was a module I introduced under youth employment. We were paying Arabic instructors allowances. That brought a lot of children, and they had time to teach. We need to look at that. These are some of the things that we will be doing. If you look at infrastructure, we will look at the drains, we will look at the roads and other things that have to be done to keep the community together.”
About Boniface Siddique Boniface
Abubakar Siddique, 56, holds an MA in Economics from the University of Essex, MBA in Financial Management from the University of Exeter, MA in Conflict, Peace and Security from the Kofi Annan International Peace Keeping Center and a BA in Social 6 Sciences from the KNUST.
He worked in the Ministry of Finance for 14 years as an Economic Officer, eventually becoming a Senior Finance Officer. In politics, he has been a two-time MP for Salaga from 2001-2009.
He also served as Minister for Water Resources, Works and Housing, Minister for Manpower, Youth and Employment and Northern Regional Minister. He is married with three children.
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