The implementation of the Free Senior High School (SHS) programme by the Akufo-Addo-led government has not reduced the economic challenges facing Ghanaians, John Jinapor, Member of Parliament for Yapei Kusawgu and former Deputy Minister of Power, has said.
According to him, the cost of living in Ghana has gone up with the high cost of fuel prices, a situation that renders the Free SHS programme immaterial to the plight of Ghanaians.
Mr Jinapor told host of Accra 100.5FM’s Ghana Yensom show on Tuesday, September 19 that: “This is what we call robbing Peter to pay Paul. The essence of Free SHS is to reduce the burden of Ghanaians, but if you introduce Free SHS yet you increase prices of fuel resulting in high cost of transport fares what have you done?
“It means the fees you have taken care of will now go into paying for my child’s transport if he is a day student.”
He added: “On the average, you are spending about GH1.50 everyday on transport fares, multiply that by 360 and check whether this and the Free SHS… Which of them consumes your income more? Clearly, you can’t rob Peter to pay Paul and say that the sufferings have gone down with the implementation of Free SHS.
“We all want the wellbeing of Ghanaians and so you can give all kinds of names including Free SHS, but the bottom line is, if you are a worker, ask yourself whether your living condition is improving. Is your purchasing power improving? Your light bills, your transport, are they improving?
“Life is not all about Free SHS, electricity bill is a problem, telephone bill is a problem, transport fares are problems, food and health are problems. And so we shouldn’t reduce the problems of Ghana to Free SHS, we should look at the combined effect of problems affecting Ghanaians.”