Policy think tank Imani Ghana has revealed that the country needs a staggering amount of about $600 million per annum to fund and implement the Free Senior High School programme introduced by the Akufo-Addo government.
Speaking to Moro Awudu on Class91.3FM’s Executive Breakfast Show on Thursday, Patrick Stephenson, Director of Research and Finance at IMANI said Ghana may not be able to afford the exorbitant cost of funding for the programme.
“Total proceeds that we have sitting in the Petroleum Fund now – some rough computation suggest we have a little over $300 million. How much do we need to invest in free education annually? Rough computations suggest something in excess of $600million if we have to do it right and do it well. Now if you decide to go and take the resources out of your Petroleum Fund, clearly it still doesn’t fix your entire financing problem that you need and all of that is gone in just a year.
“Not that it’s a bad thing in itself, you should be able to demonstrate, for example, that it’s going to be sustainable for the long term and whatever they are putting in there goes in there, but we haven’t heard all of these things,” Stephenson said.
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Senior Minister Yaw Osafo Marfo recently said the Akufo-Addo administration intended relying on the Heritage Fund to bankroll the Free SHS programme which starts in September this year.
However, various staked holders have come out to warn the government to keep their hands out of the heritage fund pot.