Politics of Thursday, 16 February 2017
Some political parties have kicked against Senior Minister Osafo-Maafo’s suggestion for government to consider using the Heritage Fund for the implementation of the free SHS policy this year.
The fund has so far accrued almost $300 million, and some civil society groups have projected it will cost government an estimated 3.5 billion Ghana cedis annually to implement the policy.
The Heritage Fund is one of THE three accounts established under the Petroleum Revenue Management Act, and the fund receives 9 per cent of petroleum revenues, and was created for the country’s future generation.
The political parties thus want government to stay off the fund.
The Policy Adviser of the Progressive Peoples Party ( PPP), Kofi Asamoah Siaw , advised government to look for other alternatives in funding the free SHS policy.
“How they are going to fund it also is a wrong attempt; because we would have wished that it is the oil money itself. The stabilization fund plus the one that goes directly into government revenue must be used to do something significant and that something significant is to fund the compulsory education injunction placed on the republic of Ghana; so Stabilization Fund should be left alone and Heritage Fund should also be left alone.”
The Convention Peoples Party’s (CPP) Communications Director, Kadir Raul Abdul, also finds the proposal unacceptable and inappropriate.
“The Convention People’s Party should not encourage the idea that the current government should use the Heritage Fund to fund the free SHS. We are saying this on principle. Heritage Fund arises from our oil discovery. Oil is an exhaustible resource. The mineral resources that we have are exhaustible so I think that it is a sign of a responsible government in making decisions, to be mindful of the development aspirations of the current generation as well; and not compromise that of the future generation. So we think that the idea of free SHS is good; but to fund through the Heritage Fund which was set aside for a particular purpose will be a defeat for that purpose.”