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General News of Friday, 17 February 2017


Free SHS: Fiscal discipline will help implementation – Nsowah

Michael Nsowah, a former Director-General of the Ghana Education Service Michael Nsowah, a former Director-General of the Ghana Education Service

Financial discipline on the part of the Akufo-Addo-led government will sustain the Free Senior High School programme, Michael Nsowah, a former Director-General of the Ghana Education Service, has said.

According to him, prudent management of state resources will ensure that more revenue is raked in to implement government programmes without seeking external support.

His comments follow a debate over the plan by the government to use the Heritage Fund to finance the Free SHS programme, as announced by Senior Minister Yaw Osafo Marfo.

Since the announcement, several persons, civil society bodies, and other professional groups have expressed divergent opinions, with critics saying it will be inimical to the unborn generation should the government use the Heritage Fund.

But speaking in an interview with Chief Jerry Forson, host of Ghana Yensom, on Accra100.5FM on Thursday, February 16, Mr Nsowah said: “Here in Ghana, if we are able to manage our resources and money well, we wouldn’t be going out to borrow. It is the mismanagement of our resources that has resulted in us being saddled with debt.”

"It is total mismanagement of our resources and outrageous expenditure that is costing the country. If we are able to reduce costs, we will be able to take care of all these things including the Free SHS.

“If previously we were constructing a six-unit classroom block with GHS500,000 and now we are going to do that with GHS150,000, look at the huge difference. Consider the number of classroom blocks that the difference could provide.

“Once we ensure fiscal discipline we should not be in danger of not being able to implement whatever programmes the new governments wants to do.”