Ghana Centre for Democratic Development (CDD-Ghana) has urged the government to focus on implementing poverty eradication projects at a pace that will bring value to the beneficiaries.
At an event to disseminate the findings of a report that tracked projects under the $1 million per constituency promised by the New Patriotic Party (NPP) during the 2016 elections, CDD-Ghana said the government must ensure that projects are implemented at a pace scale that can bring greater impact on the local economy in a meaningful time-frame.
Presenting the findings at an event held on Wednesday, September 16, 2020, Research Analyst at CDD-Ghana, Gildfred Asiamah, said the penchant of the government for spreading projects across many constituencies should be reviewed and informed by the topography of need.
The NPP promised in its 2016 elections manifesto to allocate the cedi equivalent of $1 million to each of the 275 constituencies.
The promise dubbed the ‘Infrastructure for Poverty Eradication Programme (IPEP)’ seeks to enhance capital infrastructure provision at the district/constituency level as a means to accelerate growth, create jobs and reduce poverty, particularly in rural and deprived communities.
Upon assumption of office, the NPP Government established the Ministry for Special Development Initiatives (MSDI) in February 2017 to implement the IPEP. It also set up three Development Authorities (DAs) and their governing boards as well as an inter-Ministerial Oversight Committee.
Also, the government set up a ten-member ad-hoc committee to undertake constituency infrastructure needs assessment. After that, the MSDI in 2018 began selected government priority infrastructure projects across all the 275 constituencies under the IPEP
CDD-Ghana in 2017 launched the ‘IPEP Tracker’ project to monitor the implementation of IPEP.
According to the report of the ‘IPEP Tracker’, the projects it monitored across 20 constituencies revealed that they are at various stages of completion.
“While some of the community toilet facilities have reached roofing levels, others such as the water facilities and the warehouses have been completed in many of the constituencies. However, some projects have not taken off or appear to have stalled in the constituencies,” Mr Asiamah said during the dissemination event.
As part of its many recommendations, CDD-Ghana said the government must decouple IPEP projects from party programmes and ensure that the District Assemblies are not used as a political party vehicle to dispense patronage to individual party financiers, communities and organisations in a manner that distracts them from their mandate and set them up to fail.