The Ministry of Finance has released GHȻ1, 664 million, about $320 million for the implementation of the $1 million per constituency pledge under the Infrastructure for Poverty Eradication Programme (IPEP) for 2020.
The commencement certificate, granted to the three development authorities in the country covers $275 million dollars for the 275 constituencies nationwide and $45 million for outstanding commitments.
A highly placed source close to the Ministry of Finance told the Ghanaian Times, yesterday.
The IPEP, popularly known as One-Million-Dollars-Per-Constituency, is a flagship government initiative to address critical infrastructure deficit identified by local actors at the constituency level.
In the run up to the 2016 election, the New Patriotic Party, 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 was crafted to be the main vehicle to direct capital expenditure towards constituency-level specific infrastructure and economic development priorities.
Under the IPEP, each of the 275 constituencies is allocated the equivalence of US$1 million annually to be invested in infrastructure development initiatives of their choice.
The projects are managed and implemented by the three development authorities comprising Northern Development Authority, Middle Belt Development Authority and Coastal Development Authority), under the office of the president, supervised by the Minister for Special Development Initiatives.
The source said since 2017, there had been budgetary allocations for every constituency in the country but due to the delay in establishing the three development authorities, the one million dollar per constituency had been administered through the Minister for Special Development Initiatives.
Now that the three development authorities are fully operational, it said, government had decided to revert to the original disbursement through the development authorities.
This project, it said was to ensure bottom up development approach where the infrastructure needs of every constituency would be collated, prioritised and provided through the allocated funds.
It said Infrastructure projects such as drainage systems, footbridges, community town centres, reshaping of roads, renovation of schools, provision of desks to schools, and many more, were already ongoing in all constituencies across the country.
Additionally, it said needs assessment of every constituency in the country had 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 adding that the list would be updated.
The source underscored the role of infrastructure in economic development and poverty eradication and reaffirmed President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo's commitment to closing Ghana's infrastructure and poverty gap, which is currently estimated at USD 30 billion.