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 billion (equivalent of $320 millions) for the 275 constituencies across the country.
This covers $275 million for the 275 constituencies and $45 million for outstanding commitments.
The IPEP, more commonly known as ‘$1 Million 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 infrastructure 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 infrastructure projects to be implemented will support and complement other government infrastructure 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 $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 are fully operational; therefore, government has issued commencement letters to cover the full amount of the cedi equivalence of $1 million 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.
Infrastructure projects such as drainage systems, footbridges, community town centres, reshaping of roads, renovation of schools, and provision of desks to schools are being undertaken in all constituencies across the country.
Needs assessment of every constituency in the country have been conducted to ascertain the basic infrastructure priorities of each constituency for which the IPEP funds should be applied over the next couple of years.
The needs assessment is continually updated to capture the revolving basic infrastructure needs of all constituencies.
Infrastructure plays a well-documented role in economic development and poverty eradication.
Consequently, the administration of President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo is deeply committed to closing Ghana’s infrastructure and poverty gap, which is currently estimated at $30 billion.
The government has expressly demonstrated its commitment by making funds available for basic infrastructure projects in every constituency across the country.