The Minister for Special Development Initiatives, Mavis Hawa Koomson, has maintained that the US$1million per constituency funds will be solely managed by the newly-created Development Authorities which are expected to be fully operational by August.
“The money is not going directly into the constituency; it is going to be used through the Development Authorities, and the funds will be used to undertake projects that are needed in the constituency,” she said.
Appearing before Parliament to answer question on when the US$1million per constituency funds will be ready for the constituencies, she said: “The ministry is working assiduously to ensure that the development authorities become operational by August 2018 to take over implementation of Infrastructure for Poverty Eradication Programme (IPEP) projects”.
Three development authorities – namely Northern Development Authority, Middle Belt Development Authority and Coastal Development Authority – have received their Presidential assent, and only this week their boards were inaugurated as well.
According to her, the cedi equivalent of the annual US$1million per constituency has been provided for in the 2018 Budget, ring-fenced and will be duly used to finance the needed basic social-economic infrastructure in the constituencies to improve quality of life and living conditions of the populace.
Furthermore, the minister also explained that despite the allocation to the Ministry in 2017 for disbursement of funds there are no structures in place, and for that reason they could not utilise the monies.
“As at end of December last year, the development authorities were not yet in place and it expired technically [it has gone back to government chest].”
She also indicated that some allocations have already been made, based on constituency needs-assessment.
So far, toilets and 50 warehouses have been put up in 50 districts from the US$1million per constituency fund. Others such as One Village One Dam, she says, is meant for the three Northern Regions, while the mechanised borehole and toilets will be constructed in all 275 districts.
The allocation of the cedi equivalent of US$1million (GH¢4.39million) annually to each of the 275 constituencies to finance basic infrastructure priority projects is part of government’s intention to pursue an inclusive strategy aimed at improving basic infrastructure at the constituency level especially, in deprived communities.
The strategy as expressed in the 2017 budget will be implemented through the Infrastructure for Poverty Eradication Programme (IPEP), which is designed to direct capital expenditure toward local constituency-level specific infrastructure and economic development priorities.
In the absence of the Development Authorities in 2017, Cabinet approved Provisional Arrangements and Guidelines to enable the ministry kick-start implementation of the Infrastructure for Poverty Eradication Programme (IPEP).
The ministry in 2017 carried out key preparatory activities, including identifying IPEP projects through the Constituency Infrastructure Needs Assessment Report. The ministry also embarked on the necessary procurement processes to facilitate implementation of the projects.
Through the comprehensive Constituency Infrastructure Needs Assessment Report, a number of infrastructure projects under government priority areas including One Village One Dam, Water and Sanitation for All, Agriculture infrastructure have been identified and are currently being implemented.
The following are the infrastructure projects currently under implementation by the ministry: construction of 1,000 Limited Community Mechanised Water Systems with Solar pumps in all the 275 constituencies; the construction of 1,000 10-seat community/institutional water-closet bio-digester toilets, with mechanised boreholes in all the constituencies.