‘US$1 million 1constituency’ will fail if….. -CDD

The Ghana Centre for Democratic Development (CDD) has asked government to ensure that there is value for money through transparent procurement processes in the award of contracts for the ‘One-million dollar, One-constituency’ programme or else the programme stands the risk of failure like previous state-organised social interventionist policies.

According to CDD, after an initial monitoring of preliminary processes for the implementation of the programme at various levels of governance, it realized that only the ruling New Patriotic Party, NPP, executives and political appointees at the regional and district levels appear to have a deeper knowledge of the IPEP programme than any other group of stakeholders.

This, the group thinks is a threat to the successful implementation of the programme which falls under government’s flagship Infrastructure for Poverty Eradication Programme (IPEP). The programme seeks to decentralize infrastructure development to spur economic growth, create jobs, and reduce poverty at the constituency level.

In its report, CDD stated that there is the need “to protect IPEP from a false start, ensure transparency and accountability of its implementation, strengthen the framework and performance of institutions set up to govern the programme, as well as ensure an efficient and good corporate management of public funds allocated to IPEP.”

According to them, although significantly different in terms of structure and focus, IPEP does not depart too far from several other development initiatives over the years, which were not successfully implemented due to their being mismanaged, unaccountability, and non-transparency.

It therefore recommended that, among other things, government should as part of efforts to increase transparency and accountability, pay strict adherence to the Public Financial Management Act which will ensure that the allocation, disbursement and usage of the funds will be done effectively and efficiently.

The CDD claims that effective information dissemination about IPEP and work package of the district assemblies to the public would aid in demanding greater scrutiny of its budget and accountability through a systematic monitoring and evaluation of the programme.

CDD-Ghana is implementing the “IPEP Tracker” project to monitor its implementation. First phase of the project focuses on the assessment and monitoring of the preliminary processes for the implementation of IPEP at the national, regional and district or constituency levels.

The Ministry for Special Development Initiatives has given assurances that a total of US$275 million will be disbursed to the 275 constituencies through development agencies across the country this year.

By Nana Oye Ankrah

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