Fact Check by GhanaThink,

President Akufo-Addo: I Will Give Your Constituency $1,000,000

English Abstract

2016 Election Campaign: The political party of president Akufo-Addo promised each constituency: I will give your constituency USD1,000,000.
2019 State Of The Nation: The president says: the government will finish the promise.
2019 Fact Check by GhanaThink: Each constituency gains something. What is it?

2017: the government started a programme: Infrastructure for Poverty Eradication, IPEP. The government of Ghana finished a constituency infrastructure need assessment. the people of Ghana will need a report of the assessment. The government of Ghana do the work of each project. The IPEP website has the project information.
- Toilet Place: 1005,
- Water Project: 1000,
- Grain Storehouse: 49,
- Dam: 570.

December 2017: IPEP shares a report. The report said: the government of Ghana need the aid of each region. December 2018: the people of Ghana need a report.

2018 MSDI programme budget: IPEP gets USD223 171 941.
2019 Budget: the budget mentioned projects of every constituency:
- road: some number,
- classroom: some number,
- market: some number,
- community centre and bridge: some number.

The people of Ghana need a project report.

Fact Check

In his State of the Nation Address on 21 February 2019, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo made the following comments:

“Mr Speaker, no corner of this country is being left behind. It is for this reason that we have created the three development authorities. It is for this reason that we have re-aligned the national budget to ensure that every constituency gets the cedi equivalent of $1 million a year for priority projects.

I am able to state, and every member of this House should be able to testify, that work is going on in each of the 275 constituencies around the country. The water and toilet provision segment of the Special Development Initiatives is taking place in every constituency. We came into office with a plan, Mr Speaker, and I am happy to say that we are working and delivering in accordance with that plan.”

This is in reference to the promise made by the New Patriotic Party (NPP) during their 2016 election campaign to give each constituency US$1 million to be used to address local problems. Talking in Bunkpurugu in August 2016 as part of the NPP’s presidential campaign tour, then Vice-Presidential candidate, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia made the following statement:

“Every constituency in Ghana, every year from this programme, will get the equivalent of US$1 million to spend on priority infrastructure. You can use this US$1 million a year to deal with the problems of the constituency in the rural and deprived areas. It is up to the local people to decide what their problems are and what to use that US$1 million for.”

So, how does the data we have stack up against this campaign promise?

Who administers the fund?

The funds are administered under the Infrastructure for Poverty Eradication Programme (IPEP), which launched in October 2017. The government already had plans to run the "One District, One Factory," "One Village, One Dam", "Agricultural Infrastructure", " Water for All", and "Sanitation" programmes under IPEP. Three development authorities were then set up under the Northern, Coastal and Middle Belt Development Authority Acts (published in July 2017) and charged with implementing the IPEP programmes. These were inaugurated in June 2018.

According to the Ministry of Special Development Initiatives (MSDI), when deciding how the US$1 million per constituency should be allocated, a constituency infrastructure needs assessment was conducted under the IPEP programme, “encouraging people to be involved in community-level decision making in relation to their needs”. The MSDI’s Programme Based Budget Estimates for 2018 (PDF) states that “the Ministry formed and inaugurated ten-member regional teams who were trained to conduct the infrastructural needs assessment in all 275 constituencies as part of the implementation of the provisional guidelines” in 2017.

The details of the assessment, including how they were conducted, who was consulted and how priorities were decided upon, do not appear to be publicly available.

Do we know what projects are being run in each constituency?

On the Ministry’s website, a list of the ongoing projects for each constituency can be downloaded (the same list presented in the 2019 Budget Statement and Economic Policy). The list includes 1005 ten-seater water closet institutional toilets with mechanized boreholes, 1000 community-based mechanized solar-powered water systems, 49 one thousand metric tonnes prefabricated grain warehouses and 570 small dams and dugouts (limited to the Northern Development Zone). This is presented as an exhaustive list of the ongoing projects under IPEP. These projects fall under the “Sanitation”, “Water for All”, “Agricultural Infrastructure” and “One Village, One Dam” respectively.

As mentioned above, these were already priority projects for the government, even before the establishment of the committees to investigate the needs of the individual constituencies. More constituent-specific project investments were mentioned during the MSDI’s presentation at the fourth National Policy Summit held in Tamale in September 2018.

“The Ministry has commenced processes to deliver priority projects of each constituency identified in the Infrastructure Needs Assessment Report. This will cover other projects which are priority infrastructure needs of each of the 275 constituencies. Examples of such projects include Local Markets, Community Centres, Culverts, CHPS Compounds, Small Bridges and so on.”

While there is no mention of these projects on the Ministry’s website, the 2019 Budget Statement and Economic Policy (PDF) states that projects such as these will be funded in 2019. The list of projects mentioned include:

The Northern Development Zone: 20 irrigation dams, 15 warehouses for storage of grains and cereals, 200 culverts, rehabilitation of 200km of farm roads, 170 tricycles to transport shea nuts, 85 new 6-unit classroom blocks, renovation of 114 classroom blocks, 162 motor tricycle ambulances and 28 rural health centres.

The Middle Belt Development Zone: 30 small town water systems, 300 culverts, 33 industrial enclaves, 30 small town markets, 15 small irrigation dams, 15 warehouses, rehabilitation of 300km farm access roads, 18 agriculture and business incubation centres and 30 community development centres.

The Coastal Development Zone: 10 agricultural centres, 4 fish and shrimp farming enclaves, street lights, 10 small town water systems, 100 culverts, and provision of 200,000 pieces of school furniture, 20 teachers’ quarters, 20 small bridges, 5 drainage systems, 4 waste recycling plants, 10 rural health centres, and rehabilitation of 300km farm roads.

A breakdown per constituency of these projects is not included.

Are constituencies getting their US$1 million?

The Minister for Special Development Initiatives, Mavis Hawa Koomson, has stated that the 2017 allocation of $1 million per constituency was not able to be used, because by the “end of December last year [2017], the development authorities were not yet in place and it expired technically.”

According to the MSDI's Programme Based Budget Estimates from 2018 (PDF), the funds allocated to Infrastructure for Development for 2018, 2019 and 2020 amounted to 1,153,462,586 cedi annually (about US$223 171 941 at the exchange rate of Thursday. April 12, 2018). This is the total allocated amount for all projects run under the MSDI. This would almost amount to US$1 million dollars per constituency, but without a breakdown of how the funds are allocated to each constituency, it is difficult to say whether each constituency is receiving the promised US$1 million from the pool.

Given that some projects such as the “One Village, One Dam” initiative are only being implemented in certain constituencies, while others such as the “Water for All” and “Sanitation” projects are being implemented across all constituencies, it seems unlikely that each constituency has received exactly $1 million to spend on its priority needs. Judging by the following statement on the Ministry’s website, it would appear that the current allocation is viewed more as a collective pool from which funds are drawn, than an allocation per constituency:

“I DON’T SEE WHAT THE MINISTRY IS DOING WITH OUR 1M DOLLARS PER CONSTITUENCY?

IPEP provide the framework for the disbursement of US$1 million Cedi equivalent. Under IPEP, the Ministry is constructing 1,000 limited community mechanized water systems with solar pumps under the “Water for All” initiative and 1,000 10-seater community institutional water closet bio-digester toilets with mechanized boreholes under the Sanitation project, across all 275 constituencies in the country. A total of 50 warehouses under the One District One Warehouse initiative are being constructed in some selected districts in the country whiles 570 small dams under the One Village One Dam initiative are being constructed in villages in the three regions of the North.”

How are these projects being tracked?

The IPEP Tracker was introduced as a project run by the Ghana Centre for Democratic Development (CDD). The maiden report presented to key stakeholders at a workshop in February 2018 detailed the findings from “150 key informant interviews at the national, regional and district / constituency levels involving state and non-state actors between November 27 to December 11, 2017”.

The findings indicated that the level of awareness at a regional / constituency level around the regional investigative committees and their report on the constituencies’ needs were low. According to the report, “all informants reported that there was limited or no validation with key stakeholders of the Ad-hoc Committee’s report either at the district / constituency or regional levels.” It also concluded that “the prospect for partisan political capture of the IPEP program particularly at the regional and district / constituency level by political party actors and their bureaucratic supporters is high.”

Further tracking information on the IPEP project does not seem to be publicly available. Given the findings of the maiden report by the CDD at the end of 2017, it seems crucial that transparent tracking should be taking place.

From the data available, we can conclude that while there are projects running in the 275 constituencies which fall under the MSDI’s IPEP programme, there is a lack of transparency in terms of the allocation of funding and the prioritisation of projects. If the goal is for “the local people to decide what their problems are and what to use that US$1 million for” in each constituency, the process needs to be more transparent and inclusive. What we would like to see on the MSDI’s website is a list of all ongoing projects in each constituency (as well as those planned) alongside the cost of each project. The findings of the needs assessment for each constituency should also be made publicly available.

#government #constituency #accountability #Ghana

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