General News of Sun, 13 May 201857
Only 30% free SHS funds paid by 'autopilot' government – Mahama
The Akufo-Addo government, which is on “autopilot”, has paid only 30 per cent of the funds meant for the first-year implementation of the Free Senior High School programme, former President John Mahama has said.
At the main opposition National Democratic Congress’ first National Conference of Ex-MMDCEs, Mr Mahama said: “It’s like every minister in this government has his own kingdom, and it’s like the government is on autopilot; there doesn’t seem to be somebody in charge, and, so, any minister gets up and says anything”.
Providing what, in his view, is evidence to buttress his claim, Mr Mahama said the Akufo-Addo government has consistently been shifting the goalpost on virtually all its major pre-election promises.
“I mean look at the timelines for different things: National ID starts November, December, January, February, March, May.
“Or One District-One Factory is ready to start. Fifty-seven factories by end of 2017. Then somebody comes and says: ‘Oh, we’re getting the money from here but the rate was not acceptable, so, we are going to look for money from somewhere.
“Different timelines, everybody speaking a different language, it’s like the government is just, as I said, ‘Governance-As-You-Go’, ad hoc decisions, all the initiatives like free SHS, no policy guideline, and, as of now, the information we have is that for the first year, only 30 per cent of the money that should have been paid to the schools has been paid, 70 per cent has not been paid”, Mr Mahama claimed.
He said: “One Village-One Dam, [The government said]: ‘We don’t dig dams in a rainy season’, rainy season came and went, dry season came and rainy season has come again, so, are we going to wait till the next dry season before they start digging?
“One Million Dollara Per Constituency; and what I find strange is they don’t add the per year. It was not one million per constituency, it was one million dollars per constituency per year, that’s 275 million dollars a year. Now even the first one million dollars per constituency is nowhere to be found. Ashanti Regional Minister says it’s been disbursed, somebody, too, says it’s coming”, Mr Mahama ridiculed.