Minority tells government to stop using earmarked funds to finance free SHS 

The Minority in Parliament has criticized what they say is deliberate diversion of earmarked funds by the government to finance the free Senior High School (SHS) programme.

They asked that the Finance Minister avoid doing anything to circumvent the guidelines in the Petroleum Revenue Management Act.

Mr. Ato Forson, their Spokesperson on Finance, warned that they could be heading to court to stop any breaches of the law.

He was speaking to journalists after the House had debated the report of the Finance Committee on the 2017 Petroleum Fund.

The Act stipulates that 70 per cent of the Fund should go into Annual Budget Funding Amount (ABFA) and out of that 70 per cent should be dedicated to infrastructure development.

The remaining 30 per cent should be used on other priority areas – goods and services.

The Ghana Infrastructure and Investment Fund (GIIF) Act also states that 25 per cent of the ABFA, should go into the GIIF for purposes of developing infrastructure.

Mr. Forson, who is the Member of Parliament (MP) for Ajumako-Enyan-Esiam, said the report on the expenditure of the oil revenue showed that the distribution formula had been sidestepped in favour of funding the free SHS.

He claimed that monies from the GIIF were being channelled into the government’s signature education programme.

“Clearly, 2017, from January to December, the amount that accrued into the ABFA was $217million.”

“Very conservative, if you are multiplying it at a rate of GH¢4.00 to the dollar will give you about GH¢860million.

Unfortunately, the government is spending most of the money on consumption instead of infrastructure.”

He called for the people to be interested in how the oil revenue was being spent to ensure that the right things were done.

Source: GNA

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