District assemblies, who are to be the main anchors of the Infrastructure for Poverty Eradication Programme (IPEP), have been urged to avoid using the IPEP funds for the payment of per diem and conferences.

Ms Mavis Hawa Koomson, the Minister for Special Development Initiatives (MSDI), advised the assemblies to rather invest the funds in improving the livelihoods of Ghanaians.

She said the IPEP funds should not be used for general research and warned that capacity building and per diem allocation must not also exceed two per cent of the total one million dollars to be disbursed to the various assemblies.

The Minister said this in an interaction with metropolitan, municipal and district chief executives (MMDCEs) in the Western Region at the Regional Coordinating Council in Sekondi on guidelines for the implementation of the IPEP slated for August 1, 2017.

The IPEP is a Government of Ghana initiative to eradicate poverty in the 275 constituencies with an annual funding of one million dollars to cater for the needs of rural and deprived communities.

Ms Koomson said priority areas would be the “One District, One Factory,” and “One Village, One Dam,” agriculture infrastructure, and water and sanitation for all adding; “each constituency is to provide a list of its top infrastructure needs for funding and implementation.”

The Government is to set up three development authorities: Northern, Middle Belt and Coastal to facilitate successful implementation.

The Minister said a 10-member team in the meantime would be constituted to deepen consultation, undertake needs assessment and work with contractors to execute proposed projects successfully.

Dr Kwaku Afriyie, the Western Regional Minister, said developing the region was key to the overall development of the country considering its tremendous contribution to the Gross Domestic Product of the country.

He urged MMDCEs to rally behind the Government, own the initiative and work hard in fulfilment of the President’s vision of raising the standard of living of every Ghanaian.