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Clement Apaak goes hard on gov’t over free SHS expenditure

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The Deputy Ranking Member of the Education Select Committee in Parliament, Dr. Clement Apaak has lashed out at Finance minister Ken Offori Atta over discrepancies in the expenditure on the government’s free Senior High School policy.

According to Mr Apaak, the Finance Minister, Ken Ofori Atta had earlier revealed in the 2020 budget that, the government had expended Ghc3.2billion on free SHS but in the 2021 midyear budget Mr Atta revealed that the government had spent Ghc7.62billion, this according to the law maker raises some suspicion on accountability, he spoke on DayBreak Upper East Show on A1Radio.

The lawmaker argued that “the issue I had with him was that, the year before that was 2020 he reported in that year’s midyear budget review that the government had spent Ghc3.2billion to implement the policy. So if the government had spent Ghc3.2billion in 2020 and then in the midyear budget review of 2021 before that my question and you tell us that, the government has now spent some Ghs. 7.62billion clearly the difference is almost about half of what has been spent in the previous 4 years”.

Mr Apaak explained that even though Ken Offori Atta had mentioned that the government had expended over Ghs. 7.62 billion on the policy in 2021 due to an unplanned expenditure by the government in relation to Covid-19 that saw the figure balloon to that amount, he disagrees with the minister.

He based his disagreement on the fact that “I had done my research and published and his own documents show that, the Ghc7.2billion is an inflated figure. His own documents that he presented in parliament, questions that I asked him, and the content of even the 2021 budget clearly indicated that, at most, based on my analysis, the highest amount that could have been expended on the policy is GHC5.2 billion, not GHC7.62 billion, and I continue to stand by that”.

According to him, his quest to hold the government accountable on the expenditure on the Free senior high school policy was rekindled when the Vice President, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia revealed in his public lecture earlier this month that the government had spent a combined figure of about Ghc15billion on government flagship programmes with free SHS topping the charts with a whopping Ghc5.2billion in expenditure.

Source: A1radioonline.com|101.1 MHz|Kennedy Zongbil|Bolgatanga|Ghana

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