General News of Thursday, 12 October 2017
The government has withdrawn the Zongo Development Fund bill from Parliament for further consideration.
This was made known on the floor of Parliament by the Majority Leader and Minister of Parliamentary Affairs, Osei Kyei Mensah-Bonsu, on Wednesday.
“The bill in its current state was found to have been a bit problematic, hence, the decision to withdraw it,” he told the House.
The New Patriotic Party (NPP) prior to the 2016 elections promised to establish the Zongo Development Fund (ZDF) to develop Muslim communities across the country.
At a forum with one of the Zongo communities, the Minister for Inner-City and Zongo Development, Boniface Abubakar Saddique announced that the draft bill was to be sent to Cabinet for deliberations.
He disclosed that his Ministry was almost done with consulting key stakeholders in the Zongo communities to garner ideas on areas of priority for the Fund.
“Cabinet will submit it to the Minister for Justice and Attorney-General to convert everything into a legal language,” the Minister told the media then. He said the government is of the belief that, Muslim dominated communities – popularly called Zongos – can be viable tourist attractions when a deliberate effort is made to develop them.
He expressed optimism that, the Bill when laid before Parliament, will not face any major setbacks.
“I don’t think we will have serious challenges when the Bill is laid before Parliament. And as soon as Parliament approves it, Ghanaians will begin to see the fruits of the Zongo Development Fund,” he assured.
However, the bill has been withdrawn for further consideration after it was sent to Parliament for approval.
Mr Mensah-Bonsu said the bill would be relaid after consultations with the Committee on Constitutional, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs.