Free Education Gov't won't touch Heritage Fund for free SHS - Finance Minister

Ken Ofori-Atta has stated that the government will not use the Heritage Fund to finance fee education

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Minister of Finance and Economic Planning, Ken Ofori-Atta play

Minister of Finance and Economic Planning, Ken Ofori-Atta

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Minister of Finance and Economic Planning Ken Ofori-Atta has stated that the government will not touch the Heritage Fund to finance its free Senior High School programme.

He said "I think we have enough resources from our envelope to be able to do it without touching the Heritage Fund… We will not touch the Heritage Fund…there is going to a budget allocation for that and it does not include the Heritage Fund."

READ MORE: Nana Addo's free SHS will cost $600m yearly - IMANI

Speaking to the media at the Achimota Speak Forum in Accra on Thursday, February 16, 2017, Ofori Atta said "We are financing the Free SHS education without looking at the Heritage Fund. We are not touching the Heritage Fund."

His comment comes at the back of Yaw Osafo Marfo who has indicated that the government’s Free Senior High School policy will be funded by the Heritage Fund.

READ ALSO: Gov’t to spend GHc3.6billion yearly on Free SHS

The policy is set to begin in September 2017 and is estimated to cost GH¢3.6 billion yearly.

About 1.6 million eligible students between the ages of 15-17 years across the country are expected to benefit from the policy when it begins in September this year.

 

READ ALSO: Free SHS will fail - IMANI

President Nana Akufo-Addo over the weekend said the free public SHS education was aimed at building an educated populace for speedy national development and progress.

"By free SHS, we mean that in addition to tuition, which is already free, there will be no admission fees, no library fees, no science centre fees, no computer laboratory fees, no examination fees, no utility fees. There will be free textbooks, free boarding and free meals and day students will get a meal at school for free," Nana Addo said.

Many have since kicked against the move, saying it will not be feasible. A retired Ghanaian diplomat, K.B Asante said the implementation will not be sustainable especially with the financial situation of the country.

 

READ MORE: Here are what students will benefit from Nana Addo's free SHS

Energy think tank Africa Centre for Energy Policy (ACEP) has warned the government to stay away from the Heritage Fund to finance the Free Senior High School (SHS) policy.

The Ghana Heritage Fund was established in 2011 by Section 10 (1) of the Petroleum Revenue Management Act, 2011 (Act 815).

The fund receives nine per cent of the country’s annual petroleum revenue. The Petroleum Act also provides that 21 per cent of annual oil revenues should go into a Stabilisation Fund- to support the economy in dire times – while 70 per cent should be used to support the budget.

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