14 June 2018

Ghana: Hawa Koomson - Govt Has Initiated Special Development Programmes in 275 Constituencies

The Minister for Special Development Initiatives, Mavis Hawa Koomson has told her colleague lawmakers in Accra yesterday that thousands of projects under the government's Infrastructure for Poverty Eradication Programme (IPEP) have been initiated in all 275 constituencies across the country.

The Awutu Senya East legislator said the projects, under the One Constituency, One Million dollar policy, which focuses on government's priority areas, include one village one dam, water and sanitation and agricultural infrastructure, among others.

Responding to a question asked by the Mion Member of Parliament (MP), Mohammed Abdul-Aziz when government would release the cedi equivalent of one million dollars to all 275 constituencies for the 2017 fiscal year, Ms. Koomson noted that the government could not release the 2017 tranche of the money.

"This is because the structures needed to implement the IPEP were not in place in 2017 so the allocation technically expired with the budget in December 2017.

"The structures to implement the IPEP were the three development authorities which only came into being in 2018 and they are ongoing since their allocations are in the 2018 budget," Madam Koomson stressed.

Parliament in 2017 passed the Development Authorities Act which set up the Northern, Middle Belt and Coastal Development Authorities to champion local development.

The Act was assented to by President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo on January 2 this year with their development boards inaugurated on Monday paving the way for the roll out of projects under the IPEP.

The Chief Executives of the authorities were earlier appointed to spearhead the agencies.

The projects, Hawa Koomson indicated included the construction of 1000 community mechanised water system, 1000 10-seater community water closet bio-digester toilet, 50 1000-metric tonnes size of prefabricated agricultural warehouse with dryers and 570 small dams and dugouts in the three regions of the north under the One Village, One Dam initiative.

"Mr. Speaker, a number of projects in addition to the above mentioned ones has been approved in the 2018 budget for implementation.

"The ministry is working assiduously to ensure that the development authorities become operational by August 2018 to take over the implementation of the IPEP Projects.

"I assure the House the cedi equivalent of US$1 million per constituency annually as approved by Parliament has been 'ring-fenced' and will be duly used to finance the needed basic socio-economic infrastructure in our constituencies to better the quality of life and improve on the living conditions of the populace," Madam Koomson stated.

The pledge to give every constituency US$1 million annually is a campaign promise by the governing party in the run-up to the 2016 elections.

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