Minister for Inner-Cities and Zongo Development, Dr Mustapha Abdul-Hamid says his focus while at the ministry will be to tackle education and human resource development among zongo communities.
These are the biggest challenges of dwellers of these sprawling settlements where social amenities are lacking and standard of living low, according to the immediate past Minister for Information whose recent reshuffle to the Inner-Cities and Zongo Development portfolio surprised many, as he was thought to be doing very well managing government information.
Some even found his new portfolio as a demotion altogether, however Mustapha Hamid told his host on Citi FM’s Point Blank show Monday evening that the ‘demotion’ rating is far from the reality as he considers the appointment a great honour to be asked to serve a community he fully belongs and identifies with.
He said his new job cannot be a demotion as the appointment neither comes with a lesser remuneration nor denies the minister any ministerial rights.
“No I cannot be disappointed that given an opportunity to serve my people, this in my view and I’ve said it severally and I mean it from my heart, that is the greatest honour that any product of any community, not just a zongo community (will) have. That you a member of the community, not just a member but a product of the community, and given the opportunity to help better the lot of the members of the community is a higher calling.”
Emphasising why he will focus on education and human resource development, Mustapha Hamid said in his view the challenge of the people is knowledge-seeking and once that is cured, “you cure poverty and diseases”.
He explained that for communities as zongos and inner cities, development policies need be discriminately in order to be able to target proposed interventions and help the underprivileged to attain some justice, otherwise it is like asking the rich and poor to compete for access to private educational facilities.
He described his previous job as a most difficult one, second only to the job of Minister of Finance if he was to categorize the ministerial jobs. That, he said, was ‘without a doubt’.