The President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has explained the creation of a new ministerial portfolio to handle Zongo affairs, under the name, Inner City and Zongo Development.
The portfolio according to the President would operate under the Office of the President, with all its budgetary allocations coming under the President’s office.
The Zongos in Ghana are settlements in the cities mainly populated predominantly by settlers from northern Ghana.
At a press conference at the Flagstaff House in Accra on Thursday afternoon, President Akufo-Addo said one of the critical areas of concern for the social cohesion and harmony in the country was the developments taking place in the inner cities and the zongos.
Already, to help meet the challenge of the social development of the zongos, the NPP government has committed itself to the establishment of a zongo development fund and to make a special effort to develop the inner cities.
However, there have been counter opinions as to why the President has created new portfolios for specific areas.
Justifying why that of the Zongo was for instance created, President Akufo-Addo said if his government was to succeed, not only in the delivery of the promises in its manifesto, but more importantly in the reasons for the promises, then the development that has to take place has to be coordinated and fit in the overall ministerial economic planning.
The rationale, he said was to ensure that the development of the inner cities and zongos, did not become areas of despair, areas of difficulty and areas of social conflict.
To ensure that it is successful, the President said he could not think of a more appropriate person than Mr Boniface Abubakar Saddique, who is currently the Member of Parliament for Madina in Accra.
Mr Saddique served as Northern Regional Minister in former President John Kufuor’s era, and President Akufo-Addo thinks “he is a darling of the Zongos and everybody knows that in Ghana.”
“He understands the communities in which he is going to be working,” the President said when he introduced him as his nominee for the sector.