General News Tue, 7 May 2019

NDC to sue government over free SHS cash

The opposition, National Democracy Congress (NDC) has switched to top gear its well calculated attempt to derail the implementation of the free SHS policy as it has hinted of going to court over the source of funding for the policy, ABC News Ghana can report.

This will not be the first time the NDC or a member of the party would resort to the law court to scuttle the implementation of the free SHS. Member of parliament for Bawku Central,Mahama Ayariga, it will be recalled,also went to court last year over funding for free SHS but the supreme court threw him out.

The latest move does not come as a surprise as NDC Flagbearer, John Mahama has waged relentless war against the implementation of the policy.

Minority Spokesperson on Finance and former Deputy Finance Minister, Casiel Ato Forson has said opposition NDC will sue government for using oil money which is meant for infrastructure to fund his flagship programme, the Free SHS.

The Petroleum Revenue Management Act (PRMA) states that, after GNPC’s portion has been taken from the oil profit, 70% of the remaining profit is used for the Annual Budget Funding Amount (ABFA) where 70% of the ABFA should also be invested in infrastructure with the remaining 30% to other priority areas including education.

Mr Ato Forson has said 217 million US dollars which is approximately 900 million Ghana cedis was attained into the ABFA in 2017.

But he noted that, the Finance Minister, Ken Ofori Atta told Parliament hewas going to allocate 156 million to Agriculture but sent only 21 million, Road and Railway Infrastructure was supposed to get 376 million but ended up with 34 million, Physical Infrastructure and Service Delivery in Health had only 6 million instead of GHC50 which was to be sent there.

Explaining his dissatisfaction with Afia Pokuaa on Burning Issues Wednesday, Hon Forson said they are dissatisfied because the money was used to pay school fees instead of using it for what is stated in the PRMA.

“our worry is that infrastructure is no more a priority of the government and no wonder contractors are no more being paid and the result is the numerous pot holes we find on our roads” he said.

It would be recalled that the Supreme Court last year struck out a case brought before it by the Member of Parliament for Bawku Central, Mahama Ayariga which has to do modalities of some social intervention programmes initiated by the Nana Akufo-Addo government.

The Supreme Court presided over by Chief Justice Sophia Akuffo says it took the action for want of or lack of prosecution.

Ayariga sued the Akufo-Addo administration in March 2018 over the implementation of the Poverty Eradication Programme (IPEP), Free Senior High School, Planting for Food and Jobs as well as the operations of existing agencies like the Microfinance and Small Loans Center (MASLOC) and others.
Source: abcnewsgh.com
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