Government will soon introduce the necessary legislation to provide permanent funding for the Zongo Development Fund to ensure its sustenance.
The Vice President, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, who announced this last Saturday, said this is to ensure that no government uses the excuse of no funding to scrap it.
He was speaking at the 49th Annual Celebration of the Birth of Prophet Muhammed, organized by the Tijjaniya Muslim Mission at the Aboabo No.1 School Park in Kumasi.
“In line with our agenda for the transformation of Ghana we made a case and said, since independence in 1957, no budget of Ghana has dedicated funds for the transformation and development of Zongo communities in particular. We said if Allah gives us the way, we will establish a Zongo development fund to address this issue.
“Allah has given us the way, and in our very first budget, we’re less than 3 months in government, but in our very first budget Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has established the Zongo Development Fund. Not only did he establish a Zongo development fund, he appointed a Minister for Zongo and Inner City Development.
“We provided, for this year, Ghs219 million for the Zongo development Fund. GHC219 million. As Sheikh I C Quaye once said, ‘the money e big o.’ The equivalent of the budget for five ministries, so it shows that we took it very seriously.
“It is not a token, and when we pass the law, Insha Allah in the next few months, we’re going to make sure that it is in the law, every year at least the equivalent of $50 million will be in that fund every year, so that no government can come and say there is no money for Zongo development. It will be in the law, and we will make sure it happens, Insha Allah.”
Zongo Dev Fund law
Commending the Tijjaniya Muslim Mission for its commitment to providing educational facilities, including efforts to set up a university, Vice President Bawumia assured of government’s commitment to begin paying Arabic tutors this year, while working towards making Arabic examinable at the Junior and Senior High School levels.
Arabic Teachers pay
He called on Ghanaians, especially Muslim youth, to take advantage of the business-friendly policies contained in the maiden budget of the Nana Akufo-Addo government to venture into business and wealth creation.
Dignitaries present at the programme included Shiekh Tijani Aliu Cisse, Chief Imam of the Grand Mosque; Ghana’s National Chief Imam Sheikh Osman Nuhu Sharabutu; Alhaji Samson Kwakwa, Alhaji Abdul Kadir Tahir, President of the National Council of Zongo Chiefs and other senior Muslim clerics.
The Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, was represented by the Sumankwahene, Baffuor Asabre Kogyawoasu.
Chief Imam Sheikh Osman Nuhu Sharabutu and Vice President Alhaji Dr Mahamudu Bawumia were presented with citations for distinguished achievements in leadership, service and knowledge.