Bridging The Urban Infrastructure – MMA’s Utilisation of Urban Development Grants
The LGCSP provides cash transfers to MMAs through the Urban Development Grant (UDG). The UDG, has a total grant sum of 140, 000, 000 USD for a period of five years and is open to all 46 Metropolitan and Municipal Assemblies participating in the LGCSP project. The UDG can only be used to fund social infrastructural projects, such as educational and health infrastructure, markets and lorry parks as well as water and sanitation, which has already been identified in the District Assembly’s approved Medium Term Development Plan. The funds cannot be used to procure vehicles, office or residential accommodation for the district assembly and its staff.
The UDG has provided a significant boost to investment in public infrastructure in LGCSP MMAs. Evidence from the field indicate that there has been significant increase in social investments in LGCSP districts in the last 3 years. Three UDG
grant widows announced since 2012 have invested over 66 million dollars in various social and economic infrastructure in 45 of the 46 LGCSP districts.
Under UDG 1, a total of 259 sub-projects were initiated. 257 of these have been completed and are in use by the various beneficiary communities. The 2 outstanding sub-projects are all located in KMA and are delayed partly because of unanticipated safeguards, procurement, administrative and staff challenges
at the initial stages of project implementation. These have been addressed by the Assembly resulting in renewed efforts to complete all ongoing projects. 37 additional sub-projects were approved for implementation using supplementary funds from the transfer of UDG-1 Funds. All 22 complementary activities and 15 new facilities have also been completed. The complementary activities which included supply of furniture, water, electrification, school toilets, urinals and basic medical equipment have enhanced the full utilization of UDG-1 subprojects.
A total of 201 projects were approved for implementation under UDG 2. Out of this number, 180 projects have been completed, constituting 90% of projects awarded. The remaining 21 (10.4%) projects have reached various levels of completion. 13 out of the 21 uncompleted projects are located in 3 MMAs; Secondi-Takoradi Metropolitan Assembly has six (6), Accra Metropolitan Assembly has 4 and Tema Metropolitan Assembly has 3. The sizes of most of the subprojects
being implemented by these Assemblies coupled with the safeguard challenges account for some of the reasons why the Metropolitan Assemblies, in particular, have some of their project still ongoing. The ongoing sub-projects are expected to be completed by the end of June 2016.
Out of 157 sub projects initiated under UDG-3, 151 (96%) has been awarded and 86 (55%) completed. About 51% of completed projects are in use. Some of the challenges facing MMAs are safeguards and procurement challenges and the constant posting of their trained staff to other MMAs which
affect their delivery at least in the short term.
Overall, there are a total 617 sub-projects under UDG-1, 2, and 3. Out of this number, 23.5% are in the educational sector 17.3% are consultancy and ‘Others services’, 15.3% in sanitation, 12.3% Economic and 10% Health. 99% of all sub-projects initiated from UDG 1-3 have been awarded with 84.8% completed. The remaining 1% has reached advanced stage of the procurement process. It is envisaged that about 99% of the sub-projects would be completed by end of June 2016.
As at December, 2015 the Ministry of Local Government had disbursed a total sum of US$66,697,113 to the 46 participating MMAs for financing of all 617 approved sub-projects under UDG 1, 2, & 3. Out of this amount, US$63,265,540 constituting
95% have been paid out to contractors, leaving an undisbursed amount of US$3,431,573 with the MMAs. The total disbursed amount (US$63,265,540) constitutes 45% of the original budget of (US$140,000,000).