The maiden monitoring report by the CDD Ghana on the initial implementation of the Infrastructure for Poverty Eradication Program (IPEP) by Akufo Addo led government has revealed that there was a poor coordination and consultation with key institutional stakeholders and citizens’ groups in undertaking the constituency infrastructure needs assessment.
The lack of a coordinated policy framework spelling out the IPEP policy intervention and the restriction of information to only select few political actors according to the report has the potential to create institutionalized information asymmetry for the principal actors required to successfully implement the IPEP.
The report has therefore cautioned government to ensure that Development Authorities are not used as a political party vehicle to dispense patronage to individual party financiers, communities and organizations in a manner that distance them from their mandate and set them up to fail.
The IPEP programme intervention is one of the initiatives of the NPP government to close the infrastructure gap for public service delivery and promote local development in Ghana.
CDD Ghana with funding from DFID under its Strengthening Action Against Corruption (STAAC) Project is implementing the IPEP Tracker project.
The project seeks to monitor the implementation of IPEP to ensure mistakes of past are not repeated, however the maiden monitoring report suggested that the new government is repeating the same mistakes that contributes to mismanagement and misapplication of funds.
At a Zonal Stakeholders Engagement Workshop in Kumasi for the Middle Zone, participants task Nana Addo government to ensure proper value for money through transparent procurement processes and in the award of contracts for projects listed under the IPEP intervention.
Participants were unhappy about lack of or poor involvement of the citizens, CSOs and district assemblies in the initial implementation of the IPEP programme and demanded that government as a matter of earnestness ensure the active and effective involvement of key stakeholders in the IPEP project execution.
Presenting the findings of the report, Mohammed Awal of CDD said except for NPP party representatives, majority of district level stakeholders such as coordinating directors, planning officers, heads of departments, CSOs and media reported that, they were not aware or not involved in the community-level stakeholder consultation undertaken by the ad-hoc committee established mandated to do the assessment.
According to Mr Awal, it was clear that the rush to collect information on constituency infrastructure needs to inform the 2018 budget affected the quality of the assessment exercise saying there is still opportunity to align the findings of constituency infrastructure needs assessment with the needs listed in the Medium-Term Development Framework of the MMDAs.
CDD in its recommendation urged government to strictly adhere to the Public Financial Management Act 2016 in the allocation, disbursement and usage of funds to ensure transparency and accountability.
By:Raphael Godlove Ahenu/myarkfmonline.com