The Minister of Special Development Initiatives, Ms Mavis Hawa Koomson, has assured Parliament that the US$ 1 million per constituency provided for in the 2018 budget has been ring-fenced and will be used for the sole purpose of investing in the 275 constituencies across the country.
The government in the 2018 budget, allocated the cedi equivalent of US$ I million (GH¢4.39 million) to each of the 275 constituencies to finance basic infrastructural projects.
She said the strategy as expressed in the budget would be implemented through the Infrastructure for Poverty Eradication Programme (IPEP), which was designed to direct capital expenditure towards local constituency level-specific infrastructure and economic development priorities.
Ms Koomson said this when she appeared before parliament to answer questions on the operations of the ministry.
She added that a number of projects had been approved in the 2018 budget for implementation and t
The Development Authority laws, she indicated, had received presidential assent since January 2018 and the ministry had initiated steps towards the operationalisation of the authorities.
The minister also pointed out that to ensure that IPEP was implemented in a well-coordinated manner, the government initiated steps to set up development authorities, namely the Northern Development Authority, the Middle Belt Development Authority and the Coastal Development Authority which would be the main agencies to drive the implementation of IPEP and utilise the resources allocated to constituencies.
“This implies that the cedi equivalent of US$1million per constituency will be channelled through the Development Authorities to implement projects identified under IPEP at the various constituencies. The Ministry of Special Development Initiatives (MSDI) is, therefore, mandated to provide oversight responsibility and policy direction for the implementation of this policy initiative,” she stated.
In the absence of the development authorities in 2017, she said Cabinet approved provisional arrangements and guidelines to enable the ministry to kick-start the implementation of IPEP.
She noted that the ministry in 2017 carried out key preparatory activities, including identifying IPEP projects through the constituency infrastructure needs assessment report and also embarked on the necessary procurement processes to facilitate the implementation of the projects.
Projects being implemented
Through the comprehensive constituency infrastructure needs assessment report, a number of infrastructural projects under the government’s priority areas, including one, village one dam, water and sanitation for all and agriculture infrastructure have been identified and are currently being implemented.
She also outlined some infrastructural projects currently being implemented by the ministry which include the construction of 1,000 limited community mechanised water systems with solar pumps in all the 275 constituencies and the construction of 1,000 10-seater community/institutional water closet bio-digester toilets with mechanised boreholes in all the constituencies.
Others include the construction of 50, 1,000-metric tonnes size of prefabricated agricultural warehouses with dryers and solar panels in selected districts of which 15 are in the Northern Development Zone, 20 in the Middle-Belt Development Zone and 15 in the Coastal Development Zone, in addition to the construction of 400 out of the 570 small dams and dugouts in the three northern regions under the One Village, One Dam initiative. — GB