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General News of Tuesday, 26 June 2018


Nothing wrong with funding free SHS with oil money – MP

A Member of the Finance Committee of Parliament and MP for Okaikoi North, Issah Fuseini, has defended government’s decision to use a portion of the oil revenue to fund its free SHS programme.

PIAC’s 2017 report mentioned the use of 61 percent of the Annual Budget Funding Amount on recurrent expenditure in the education sector, mainly on free SHS, instead of capital investment.

Speaking on Citi TV’s Breakfast Daily, Issah Fuseini said investing in the country’s human resource is crucial for development.
“I see investment in our education in the future human capital of this country, and I do not think there is any infraction on using our oil money to fund free SHS which is beneficial. The company invests in a machinery because it is going to use the machinery overtime to do whatever it does so that is of a capital nature as investing in education today is also of a capital nature.”

Minority’s threat

The Minority had threatened to take the NPP government to court for excessively using the oil funds to support its flagship Free Senior High School Programme.

Minority Spokesperson on Finance, Cassiel Ato Forson, had mentioned that records of expenditure of oil revenue show that the distribution formula set out in the Petroleum Revenue Management Act has been sidestepped to fund the Free SHS.

The Minority had further alleged that government was diverting monies from Ghana Infrastructure Investment Fund (GIIF) for the Free Senior High School program.

‘Funding free SHS with oil money’

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo in May said the use of some of the country’s oil revenues to fund the Free Senior High School policy, thereby guaranteeing all Ghanaian children access to senior high school education, is most appropriate.

President Akufo-Addo made this known on Friday, 11th May 2018, when he delivered the keynote address at the 2018 Oxford Africa Conference, at the University of Oxford.

But former Finance Minister, Seth Terkper urged the government to put in place proper measures to finance the Free Senior High School (SHS) project.

According to him, the high cost of the project is already throwing government’s budget out of gear.