Free SHS Gov't has not yet decided on Heritage Fund - Kwaku Kwarteng

According to him, government would communicate how it intends funding the policy when it presents its 2017 budget statement in March.

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Kwaku Kwarteng, a New Patriotic Party (NPP) MP on Parliament’s Finance Committee has indicated that government has not taken any definite decision to use the Heritage Fund to finance the free senior high school (SHS) policy.

According to him, government would communicate how it intends funding the policy when it presents its 2017 budget statement in March.

Ghana's Senior Minister, Mr. Yaw Osafo Marfo on Tuesday said: “We are going to look at the Heritage Fund. The Heritage [Fund] implies for the future. We want to introduce…and the president mentioned it last week [Free Senior High School] and it is likely to be funded through the Petroleum Act [Heritage Fund].”

play Yaw Osafo Marfo


He said the government will amend the Act to allocate some portions of the fund to the implementation of the policy.

READ ALSO: Ghana will fund its free high school policy with the Heritage Fund

His comments come on the back of concerns that the implementation of the Free Senior High School policy will not be sustainable especially with the financial situation of the country.

Many have, however, raised issues with the government’s plan to use the Heritage Fund to finance the policy.

The Heritage Fund is set up to support the development of future generations when Ghana’s petroleum reserves have been depleted. The Fund receives nine percent of the country’s annual petroleum revenue.

READ ALSO: Steve Manteaw threatens to take on gov't over Heritage Fund for Free SHS

The Minority in Parliament has said it will resist the use of the Ghana Heritage Fund to finance the Free Senior High School programme scheduled to start in September this year.

“We join the overwhelming majority of Ghanaians and civil society groups to register our strongest disapproval and objection to this idea. We wish to state emphatically that we shall resist any attempt to amend the Petroleum Revenue Management Act. …A lot of thinking and consultation was put into this Act which was led by the Finance Ministry. International development partners were consulted and lessons were drawn from the best practices in oil producing countries the world over.

"The Act is a product of national consensus and has both executive and legislative approvals,” former Deputy Finance Minister Cassiel Ato Forson told journalists on Thursday, 16 February at a press conference organised by the Minority in parliament.

But Mr Kweku Kwarteng has maintained that government has not concluded on funding the policy with the Heritage Fund.

"If government finds the need to do so it will also avert its mind to the counter position and would make a decision that will benefit the people," he told Accra-based Joy FM.

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