The Center for Democratic Development, Ghana (CDD-Ghana) has urged public officials and individuals to avoid politicizing the implementation of government’s Infrastructure for Poverty Eradication Programme (IPEP) to ensure full execution of projects.
Mr Balaarah Abdulai, Programmes Officer at the CDD-Ghana, who made the call, said it was important for policymakers and individuals to desist from using IPEP as a political tool and an opportunity to dispense patronage to individual party financiers and sympathizers, adding that such acts created an avenue for corruption.
He made this known when CDD-Ghana engaged stakeholders to disseminate its findings from a constituency monitoring report on the implementation of IPEP in the Tamale Central Constituency of the Northern Region.
The monitoring report was part of the CDD-Ghana’s IPEP Tracker project that sought to independently monitor the implementation of projects under the IPEP and to help address the institutional weaknesses or lapses that were usually associated with such interventions.
It also aimed at improving transparency and accountability of IPEP implementation through sustained collective action by everyone, especially, Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) and media practitioners, with funding support from the Ford Foundation.
According to Mr Abdulai, it was observed through monitoring under the project that, “only politicians knew of IPEP, in the early stages.
For example, the Adhoc committee instituted to oversee the implementation and execution of the project had its members to be largely party sympathizers”.
“We also found out the lack of community and stakeholders’ involvement in project implementation of the IPEP and due to political influences, most IPEP Projects is implemented by external contractors,” he noted.
He, therefore, called on government officials and individuals to ensure proper coordination between the Assemblies and other institutions, the Northern Development Authority (NDA), the Ministry of Special Development Initiatives and Regional Coordinating Councils to help accelerate the eradication of poverty in the country.
Stakeholders present at the engagement appealed to government to conduct regular monitoring on all IPEP Projects across the country to help improve on transparency and accountability in the execution of such projects.
IPEP is a government initiative that aims at providing basic socio-economic infrastructure at the constituency level in the country.