Point taken; there will be more amplification next time around.
Deputy Minister for Finance and
Economic Planning (Prof. G. Y. Gyan- Baffour): Mr. Speaker, in answer to the Question, the Social Investment Fund (SIF) was set up in 1998 through the efforts of the Government of Ghana, the African Development Fund and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). The total project cost was $20.3 million; it started on a pilot basis in six districts and was expanded to 39 districts by 1999. Currently, Mr. Speaker, it is in 80 districts of the country.
The SIF has approved one hundred and forty seven sub-projects amounting to $19.49 million; 772 of the projects have been fully completed whilst 247 are at various stages of implementation. The remaining 28 are yet to be implemented. The projects include classroom blocks, staff quarters, nutrition centres, rural health facilities, irrigation, agro-processing, skill development and maintenance of farms to market roads.
Mr. Speaker, the first phase of the project funded by the African Development Bank and the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) ended in 2004. Currently OPEC has provided seven million dollars for the second project and the African Development Fund is now in the process of getting us a second project that would be funded to the tune of about twenty million units of account, which is almost about twenty-eight million dollars. It is yet to be processed; it has not been signed yet.
Mr. Speaker, because of the transition from Phase I to Phase II there has been a slowdown of the activities of the Social Investment Fund (SIF) and as soon as the modalities for the disbursements of the OPEC Fund of $7 million are completed, funds will be made available for the smooth implementation of all ongoing projects including those in North Dayi.
Mr. Speaker, the SIF first entered the then Kpando district in October, 2002 and the SIF together with the Kpando District Assembly developed nine sub- projects and subsequently added three in October, 2003, bringing the total number to twelve in the district. Mr. Speaker, these sub-projects cover ten schools, one income generating activity, that is a gari processing factory, and one health post and nurses' quarters.
Mr. Speaker, to date, an amount of ¢2.4 billion has been approved by the SIF in the Kpando District Assembly out of which ¢1.2 billion has been disbursed. Mr. Speaker, out of the twelve sub-projects in the district, eleven are in North Dayi alone. Five of the eleven in North Dayi have been completed and handed over to the District Assembly, with a maintenance plan, over a year ago. A sixth project at Fesi is about 95 per cent completed - actually it is at the painting stage.
Two other sub-projects -- one at Anfoega-Wadaxeme is at the lintel stage and the other at Dzana is at the roofing stage -- have been abandoned by the contractors, while three sub-projects, which were approved late, are yet to be started. These are the ones at Ave Danyigba Unit Committee with 3-unit classroom; Kpando Gabi RC - 6-unit classroom; and the Gbeli Unit Community, a community clinic.
Mr. Speaker, I wish to inform this august House that the delays in the implementation of sub-projects are often associated with the inability of the local community on the one hand, and in this particular case the KDA on the other to generate the required 10 per cent and 15 per cent respectively as matching funds.
To buttress this point, Mr. Speaker, it would interest you to know that while the first sub-projects were approved in October, 2002 the District Assembly made
its maiden payment on 1st July, 2004, nearly two clear years after the approval and in fact at the time the projects were being handed over. The last instalment of the amount was paid on 11th January, 2005.
Mr. Speaker, as I speak, the comm- unities still owe SIF an amount of ¢118,129,087 and these delays in payments of the Assembly and the communities' contributions have affected the last three sub-projects, thus requiring a review of the contract sum.
It is expected that with the co- operation of the District Assembly and the beneficiary communities, all the sub- projects in the district would be completed hopefully by the end of July, 2005 except, of course, the three that we awarded lately.
Mr. Speaker, there are about 45 other equally distressed districts that are yet to be covered by the SIF.