General News of Fri, 17 Feb 201720
Minority scared of Free SHS - MP
Legislators of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) will resist every attempt by the Akufo-Addo government to implement social intervention programmes such as Free Senior High School because fulfilling that policy and others will keep the party in opposition for a long time, Matthew Nyindam, Member of Parliament (MP) for Kpandai and First Deputy Majority Chief Whip, has said.
His comment follows the promise by opposition NDC MPs on Thursday February 16 to do whatever they can to prevent the government from using the Heritage Fund to finance the Free SHS programme scheduled to take off in September 2017.
“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 speaking in an interview with Chief Jerry Forson, host of Ghana Yensom, on Accra100.5FM on Friday February 17, Mr Nyindam said: “We definitely expected resistance from the NDC members in parliament because they know that if the Akufo-Ado-led government fulfils the free high school education promise, their future as a party is very bleak.
“If today parents, who through no fault of theirs are unable to pay for their children's fees, are benefiting from the fulfilment of that promise, the NDC knows that that will make their chances [of electoral victory] very slim and so they will definitely resist any attempt to implement the policy.
They adopted the same posture when we were about to pass the National Health Insurance Act – they walked out from parliament and didn’t support it, yet the scheme came and benefited majority of Ghanaians.
And, so, for us, we are not surprised at the opposition they have adopted to the implementation of this policy. We know that they are anxious, because they know the fulfilment of these promises will put them in trouble politically.”