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General News of Friday, 12 April 2019

Source: citinewsroom.com

NPP government mortgaged GETFund due to lack of funds – Mahama

Former President John Dramani Mahama has accused the New Patriotic Party (NPP) government of misusing proceeds from the Ghana Education Trust Fund (GETFUND).

The former President explained that the NPP had depleted the Ghana Education Trust Fund thus making it difficult to pay contractors working on school infrastructure projects.

He added that government had mortgaged the GETFUND due to lack of funds.

Parliament in November 2018 approved a $1.5 billion facility for the GETFund for educational infrastructure in the country.

The facility will utilize portions of GETFund revenues to service medium-term debts.

Mr. Mahama expressed fears that this will cripple the infrastructure development via the fund.

“The GETFund has been raided and money has been taken out of the GETfund so there is not enough money to pay these contractors. So what has government decided to do? They decided that they are going to mortgage and take 1.5 billion dollars against the GETFund to be repaid over 20 years or so.

“What it means is that once those projects are executed with the money taken, there will be no GETFund available because all the money will be going to service the loan that one particular government has taken.”

Refusal to consult widely caused free SHS challenges

Mr. Mahama said the government’s refusal to consult extensively with stakeholders before implementing the free Senior High School policy has led to some major setbacks.

He held that the lack of infrastructure is hindering the smooth running of the program.

“Some of us foresaw the difficulties that they are facing today and that is why we tried to warn them,” he said at the NDC’s Campus Lecture series at the University of Cape Coast on Thursday. The lecture was under the theme “the state of education in Ghana”.

The call for stakeholder consultation for the free SHS policy is one the former President made before the programme was introduced.

“We must open up to consensus building. I want to assure that if I become President of this country again… within the first three months of assuming office, we would hold a stakeholder meeting on Free SHS and we will form a consensus in this country on how it should be implemented so that we do not toy with the destinies of our children.”