The Government of Ghana makes a U-turn as it reveals that it will no longer fund the Free SHS programme with the country's oil resources profit

The government of Ghana has revealed that it has completely cut the Annual Budget Funding Amount (ABFA) which was allocated for the Free Senior High School programme.

Government of Ghana makes a U-turn as it reveals that it will no longer fund the Free SHS programme with the country's oil resources profit

This clearly indicates that the government will no longer spend proceeds from the country’s oil resources on the programme.

The programme is currently entering its third year of implementation.

The revelation was made when the Parliamentary Select Committee on Education produced a report on the annual budget estimates of the Ministry of Education for the 2019 financial year.

In the report, the ministry’s 2019 budgetary allocation of $2.62 billion (equivalent GH¢12.87 billion) could not be sourced from the ABFA. This implies that the government cannot fund the $3 billion (equivalent GH¢1.682 billion) allocated for the Free SHS programme.

However, the country’s s the Scholarship Secretariat which operates under the Office of Government Machinery has been tasked to cater for the direct funding of the Free SHS programme since 2018. The $3 billion (GH¢1.682 billion) budgetary allocation for the programme had been pencilled out of the total budgetary allocation to the ministry for the Scholarship Secretariat.

The President's stance

Last year, though the government had received a lot of criticisms about the use of the country’s oil revenues to fund the Free SHS programme, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo said it was the most appropriate way to go.

“We are using some of the income from our oil revenue to fund the programme. I believe strongly that this is the most equitable and transparent use of the oil revenue, instead of it finding its way into the pockets of politicians and bureaucrats,” President Akufo-Addo said.

Despite the strong stance of the President to use proceeds from the country’s oil revenue to fund the programme which is one of its flagship initiatives, reports indicated that the ABFA did not allocate funds for the Ministry of Education this year.

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