General News of Mon, 20 Feb 201732

Free SHS brouhaha: Nana Addo not in charge of affairs – Murtala Mohammed

It appears the brouhaha surrounding the implementation of the Free Senior High School policy of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) government will not die soon as concerns about cost and source of funding continue to get murky.

A former Member of Parliament for the Nanton constituency, Murtala Mohammed has raised eyebrows about who manages information at the seat of government.

According to him, there seem to be several versions of information coming out from the seat of government, the Jubilee House.

“You can describe them (NPP government) as part one, part two and part three just as you have in Ghanaian movies. You have part one that is the position of the Senior Minister, Osafo Maafo. You have part two which is said by no less a person but the Finance Minister and you have part three and that is said to be the position of NPP Member of Parliament for Obuasi West, Kweku Kwarteng,” he told Samuel Eshun, host of Alhaji and Alhaji Saturday.

President Akufo-Addo last Saturday announced the commencement of the programme September this year when he addressed the 60th anniversary of Okuapemman SHS at Akropong Akuapem.

Days later, Senior Minister Yaw Osafo Maafo in an interview reportedly said government might use the Ghana Heritage Fund to finance the policy which is starting in the 2017/2018 academic year.

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The decision has triggered sharp criticisms from opposition political parties and some civil society organisations who believe the purpose of the Fund would be defeated if government taps into it.

But NPP MP on the finance committee of parliament, Kwaku Kwarteng, maintains government’s ways of funding its flagship programme would be communicated to Ghanaians in its 2017 budget statement scheduled to be presented to Parliament in March.

Speaking on Radio Gold‘s current affairs program, Alhaji and Alhaji, Murtala Mohammed who was former deputy Minister for Trade and Industry, noted that two months into the governance of the present administration indicates clearly that “President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo is not in charge.”

Meanwhile, Managing Editor of the Insight Newspaper, Kwesi Pratt Junior, has expressed disappointment in the critics of government’s decision to use the Heritage Fund to implement the free SHS policy, saying he sees nothing wrong if the government wants to use the Fund as a source of funding the programme.

He insists education is vital to the success of the country’s economy.

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