The President of the 4th republic, Akufo-Addo on 1st July 2022, authorized the Minister for Finance, Ken Ofori-Atta, to commence formal engagements with the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
A statement signed by the Information Minister, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah said the President’s directive to the Finance Minister followed a telephone conservation between President Akufo-Addo, and the IMF managing director, Kristalina Georgieva, conveying Ghana’s decision to engage with the Fund.
Obviously, even though Ghana government has borrowed a lot of money from other countries, it has spent the money recklessly leading to an unsustainable budget deficit. In fact, Ghana’s public debt has galloped from 120billion in 2016 to almost 400billion in May 2022; and our debt servicing has increased from about 10billion in 2016 to almost 50billion in 2022.
Huge parts of these monies are spent on Free SHS. In fact, on Wednesday, 21st June, 2021 the Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta revealed on the floor of Parliament that the government allocated a total amount of GH¢7.62 billion for the implementation of the Free Senior High School (SHS) programme during the past five years.
The major duty of the IMF is to initiate financially intelligent policies that will help Ghana to maintain some economic sanity. In effect, the IMF will review most of Government’s programmes that drain the country a lot of money and one of such economically draining programmes is the Free SHS.
Spending GH¢7.62 billion on Free SHS alone given our current economic crisis is, definitely, financially draining.
It is on this background that the popular Educationist and Counsellor, Mr. Daniel Fenyi, a member of the Ghana National Association of Certificated Counsellors, has predicted that Free SHS will be ‘reviewed’ under the I.M.F programme due to the high amount of money the policy consumes.
According to Counselor Daniel Fenyi, the IMF is likely to change the Free SHS from the current ‘wholesale’ system to a ‘targetted’ system where only the deserving poor will be targetted and given free SHS while the rich will pay their own fees.
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Source: TodayGhanaMedia.com / Kwabena Akim
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