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General News of Monday, 15 October 2018


$459m dedicated to Free SHS in 2018; 270k students benefit so far - Akufo-Addo

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo play videoPresident Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has reassured the nation of his government's commitment to put revenue from the oil exploration in the country to judicious use.

The president reiterated the position of his government that the proceeds from the exploration and drilling of oil be made to affect the lives of all Ghanaians.

As such the President boasted of using the funds to build and nurture the manpower of the nation, the youth through the flagship Free SHS policy that was kick-started in 2017.

Addressing a gathering of stakeholders in the oil sector at the launch of the first-ever open tendering process for the exploration of oil blocs in Ghana, Akufo-Addo disclosed that in the 2018 budget government allocated $459 million to the policy.

This he said has resulted in the education of nearly 270, 000 students in Senior High Schools across the country since the policy began.

Akufo-Addo observed that most beneficiaries of the policy introduced in 2017 with the availability of the oil funds would otherwise have sat home and be denied access to secondary education in the country.

"We are investing revenues from oil in one of the most ambitious social programmes of our country’s history, i.e. the Free Senior High School policy. In the 2018 budget, GH¢455.9 million of petroleum revenues was allocated to the Free SHS programme. Free SHS is ensuring that our oil revenues are being equitably distributed to our people, and not ending up in the pockets of a few. The most important resource of any nation is its people. Investing in our children and in the future of our country is the most appropriate investment any Government can make, and we are fully committed to continuing on this path. In 2017 and 2018, the first 2 years of the policy, 270, 000 more students have entered Senior High School than they would have prior to the policy,” Akufo-Addo told the gathering at the Kempinski Gold Coast City Hotel in Accra.

Our oil sector is ready for you - Akufo-Addo woos investors

The President also took the opportunity to make a case for Ghana's oil sector emphasizing on its potential and Ghana's readiness to partner both local and foreign investors in exploring its resources.

He affirmed his government's zeal to reverse the slow growth recorded in the sector few years after Ghana discovered oil with an aggressive exploration agenda.

Akufo-Addo at the event cited Cape 3-point basin and the Tano basin as highly prospective and hinted of those sites becoming Ghana's assets that could lure investors into the country as it has the ability to offer high returns.

Wooing the investors, the president emphasized, "our fiscal regime is investor friendly. Apart from royalties all other fiscal terms are based on profitability, rewarding investors for their capital and underwriting their investment risk overall. I wish to invite our investors both here and abroad to invest in our oil industry”.

The President made these remarks as he delivered the keynote address and officially launched the maiden open tendering process in Ghana for oil blocks.

Nine blocks are available for exploration, however, only 6 will be given out between 2018/ 2019.

The launch and advertisement has kick-started a direct tendering process for the selection of a company to explore the 5th and 6th blocks which are considered to be in deep water and requires more technical ability and financial resources.

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