Government cuts oil funding for the Free SHS programme

Government cuts oil funding for the Free SHS programme

- The Free SHS programme would no longer be funded from Ghana's oil resources, the government has announced

- A parliamentary report also reveals that the Education ministry's budget of GH¢12.87 billion would not be sourced from the ABFA

YEN.com.gh understands that the Free Senior High School (SHS) programme would no longer be funded with revenue from Ghana’s oil resources.

According to a report from the Parliamentary Select Committee on Education on the annual budget estimates of the Ministry of Education for the 2019 financial year, the ministry’s 2019 budgetary allocation of GH¢12.87 billion would not be sourced from the Annual Budget Funding Amount (ABFA).

It further stated that out of the GH¢12.87 billion allocated to the ministry to fund its programmes and activities, GH¢1.682 billion had been earmarked for the implementation of the Free SHS programme.

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Given that the Scholarship Secretariat which operates under the Office of Government Machinery has been tasked to cater for the direct funding of the Free SHS programme since 2018, the GH¢1.682 billion budgetary allocation for the programme had been pencilled out of the total budgetary allocation to the ministry for the Scholarship Secretariat.

Peacefmonline.com reports that in 2018, the government reduced the ABFA allocation to the ministry by 95.3%, from GH¢212 million in 2017 to GH¢10 million.

This followed stiff criticisms by civil society groups that it was risky for the government to rely solely on oil revenue to fund the free SHS programme, insisting that it must diversify its sources of funding for the programme due to the instability of oil prices on the world market.

The Minority in Parliament insisted that using oil money to fund the programme at the detriment of other sectors of the economy was unconstitutional, and threatened to head to court to seek redress.

READ ALSO: Mahama under attack for calling President Akufo-Addo's government 'family and friends'

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Source: Yen.com.gh

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