Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta, has dismissed proposition by Senior Minister Yaw Osarfo Maafo that government intends to run the Free Senior High School (SHS) policy with the Heritage Fund.
Hon. Osafo-Marfo sparked controversy when he hinted that government was considering the Heritage Fund to finance the education policy slated for the 2017/2018 academic year.
The Heritage Fund is an endowment reserve established to support the development for future generations when Ghana’s petroleum reserves have been depleted, according to the Petroleum Revenue Management Act of 2011.
The Petroleum Act also provides that 21% of annual oil revenues should go into a Stabilisation Fund- to support the economy in dire times – while 70% should be used to support the budget.
Civil Society groups have strongly kicked against the use of the Heritage Fund with some arguing that the Fund has less than $300 million, hence will not be enough to fund the education policy that is estimated to cost GH¢3.6 billion annually.
However the Finance Minister told Joy News that government has never considered using the Heritage Fund to operationalize the education policy.
“We are not going to touch the Heritage Fund to be able to support the free SHS education,” Ken Ofori-Attah stressed.