THE MINISTRY of Finance (MoF) has granted letters of commencement to the three development authorities in the country to commence full implementation of the $1 million per constituency pledge under the Infrastructure for Poverty Eradication Programme (IPEP) for the 2020 fiscal year.
The commencement certificate makes available GH¢1,664 million (equivalent to $320 millions) for the 275 constituencies across the country. This covers $275 million dollars for the 275 constituencies and $45 million for outstanding commitments.
The IPEP, more commonly known as One-Million-Dollars-Per-Constituency, is a flagship government initiative aimed at meeting critical infrastructure needs identified by local actors at the constituency level.
In the run-up to the 2016 election, government promised to eradicate poverty and minimise inequality among socio-economic groups within geographical areas through direct provision of basic infrastructure at the constituency level, especially in rural and deprived communities. To attain this, IPEP will be the main vehicle to direct capital expenditure towards constituency level specific infrastructure and economic development priorities.
Under IPEP, each of the 275 constituencies is allocated the equivalence of $1 million annually to be invested in infrastructural development initiatives of their choice, managed and implemented by the three development authorities (Northern Development Authority, Middle Belt Development Authority and Coastal Development Authority), under the office of the president, supervised by the minister responsible for special development initiatives.
The infrastructural projects to be implemented will support and complement other government infrastructural projects.
Since 2017, there has been budgetary allocation for every constituency in the country. However, due to the time it took to establish the three development authorities, the one $1 million per constituency has been temporarily administered through the minister for special development initiatives.
The three development authorities have since been established by an act of Parliament and fully operational. Therefore, government has issued commencement letters to cover the full amount of cedi equivalence of 1 million US dollar to all three development authorities to commence the implementation of constituency specific infrastructure needs.
This project is to ensure bottom-up development approach where the infrastructure needs of every constituency will be collated, prioritised and provided through the allocated funds. Infrastructural projects such as drainage systems, footbridges, community town centres, reshaping roads, renovation of schools, provision of desks to schools, and many more are being undertaken in all constituencies across the country.
Consequently, the Akufo-Addo administration is deeply committed to closing Ghana’s infrastructure and poverty gap, which is currently estimated at $30 billion.