Politics of Monday, 27 August 2012
No, he has not been busted for drug trafficking. Neither
has he been busted for possessing marijuana. What NPP flag-bearer, Nana Akufo
Addo, has been busted for is the churning out of a fake figure,GHÂ¢78million,
which he told Ghanaians last Wednesday that his free Senior High School (SHS)
education programme will cost if he becomes the President of Ghana.
Various independent analysis that have been done of
the GHÂ¢78million he said the free SHS will cost in his first year as President
of Ghana shows that this figure is woefully inadequate to finance a free
educational programme because currently, exclusive of tuition fee, the
Government of Ghana spends a total of GHÂ¢432million on SHS students in the
country every year.
Among several independent minded people who have
ripped through Akufo-Addoâ€™s GHÂ¢78million figure is an educationist who told the Daily Post that per the Ghana
Education Service statistics, Ghana has a total of 720,000 SHS students on whom
the government spends GHÂ¢600 each. This brings the total amount Government
spends on all the 720,000 SHS students to GHÂ¢432million. This figure does not
cover tuition fees.
â€œSo, if government spends GHÂ¢432million on SHS students
in the country and yet it is not called free education, how can someone say in
his first year, he will spend GHÂ¢78million on free education, that is pay for
all that government is paying for currently and pay for tuition as well. This
is impossible!â€ the educationist, who wants to remain anonymous for obvious
reasons, told this paper.
At the IEA encounter last Tuesday, Akufo-Addo,
explaining how much his free SHS programme will cost and how he intends to fund
it said â€œThe cost of providing free
Secondary School education, which includes tuition, boarding, feeding and all
other charges for the 2013-2014 academic year is estimated at 0.1% of our GDP.
That translates into some GHÂ¢78million. We have made provision for a major
increase in enrollment as a result of admitting all JHS students into SHS in
2014-2015. We expect the cost to rise to GHÂ¢288million (0.3% of GDP) in that
academic year and increase to GHÂ¢774million in 2015-2016 (0.7%) of GDP.â€
The false figure Akuffo Addo and his advisors have
churned out is the result of his being pushed by BBCâ€™s HARD TALK host, Stephen Sackur, in March this year, to state how
much his so-called free SHS programme will cost. Obviously, in their
desperation to justify a lie since they never intended to implement any free
SHS programme , they failed to do a basic research work to find out first how
many SHS students are in the country and how much Ghana was already spending on
The leaders of the NPP are still out of touch with
modern ways of thinking which resulted in their constructing a confusing roundabout
(instead of two or three tier interchange) at the Tetteh Quarshie Circle when
they were given the mandate to rule.
This lack of understanding modernity resulted in
their taking Ghana backwards from 2001 to 2008 when they governed the country.
For a party that claims to be good at business, they collapsed VALCO and
brought the Tema Oil Refinery down to its knees. Under them, the textiles &
garment as well as poultry industries collapsed. Even their own Special
Presidential Initiatives, (PSIs), from cassava to salt, collapsed.
That Nana Akufo-Addo does not intend to implement
any free SHS programme in the unlikely event that he is voted into power was
revealed on BBCâ€™s HARD TALK programme
in March this year when the host quizzed him about his Free SHS education
promise. The excerpt below says it all;
PRESENTER:Â I think what the Ghanaian people, it seems to me, from
reading a lot of stuff from the Ghanaian press, want to know is, where exactly
is the money going to come from next time around if you are in power, for some
of the very extravagant promises youâ€™ve made? You for example have offered free
secondary schooling for all Ghanaians. A promise you say you would absolutely
deliver in your four years in power?
NANA AKUFO-ADDO:Â Absolutely!
PRESENTER:Â So have
you costed it? How much will it cost?â€
costingâ€¦ the costingâ€¦ is beingâ€¦ is being done. I mean very very soon we will be
in the position.
PRESENTER:Â No, you
must have costed it! You canâ€™t make a promise like that without costing it?
NANA AKUFO-ADDO:Â No, no,
no, very, very soon we are going to beâ€¦
PRESENTER: How much?
NANA AKUFO-ADDO:Â Very,
very soon, we are going to beâ€¦ put it together. I preferâ€¦
PRESENTER:Â You donâ€™t
know how much?
NANA AKUFO-ADDO:Â I do know
how much, understand, butâ€¦
PRESENTER:Â Oh, then
tell me that?
NANA AKUFO-ADDO:Â I will
prefer to tell the people of Ghana directly before I tell you.
PRESENTER:Â What do
you mâ€¦? Many of them are onÂ HARD TALK, you can tell me and they will know?
NANA AKUFO-ADDO:Â No, it doesnâ€™t
matter, I prefer to make that statement to the people of Ghana directly first,
as to the cost, and any timeâ€¦
PRESENTER:Â So you do know
NANA AKUFO-ADDO:Â Oh, we do. We have
a very good idea howâ€¦ and how also we are going to finance it.
PRESENTER:Â Well Okay, you
are obviously not going to give me the figures but just tell me how you are
going to pay for it. Because clearly, it is going to be a great cost if you are
going to train teachers, going to build new schoolsâ€¦?
NANA AKUFO-ADDO:Â All of that
have been adequately costed and we believe that first of all, the new revenues
will help, more efficient management of what we have now, growth in the
Ghanaian economy â€“ these are the three sources which are going to enable us to
fulfil that promise. And it is a promise that has been made solemnly to the
Ghanaian people, and it is going to be solemnly kept. Not because it is a
campaign promise, but because it is a necessity for the future of our country
to educate all our young peopleâ€¦
is obvious why Akufo-Addo could not state on HARD TALK how much his free SHS
programme will cost. It is always difficult to defend a lie!