The Vice Chairperson of Parliament’s Finance committee, Kwabena Amankwah Asiamah has dared the Minority in Parliament to proceed to court over the funding of the Free Senior High school programme.
The Minority is threatening a legal action to compel the Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta to stick to the disbursement formula under the Petroleum Revenue Act.
According to the Minority, the records of expenditure of oil funds indicate that government has gone contrary to the distribution formula set out in the Petroleum Revenue Management Act to fund one of its flagship programmes, the Free Senior High School.
But reacting to the issue, Mr Asiamah, the Member of Parliament for Fanteakwa North, told Daakyehene Ofosu Agyemang on Power 97.9 FM that government did not err financing one of it’s flagship programmes with a portion of funds accrued from the country’s oil sector.
Minority’s spokesperson on Finance, Cassiel Ato Forson in an interview with Power News had indicated that per the Petroleum Management Revenue Act, 70% of the fund should go into the annual budget funding. Of that, 70% should also be dedicated toward Infrastructure development and the remaining 30% should be used in certain priority areas for goods and services.
But Mr Asiamah stated bluntly that “the government has not erred financing the education of our future leaders with oil revenue… The minority can go to court if they wish.”
To him, the Minority members did not understand what infrastructure means in the Petroleum Management Revenue Act, explaining that the part of the oil revenue which is responsible for education cannot be used for only physical infrastructure but human capital.
“We [government] are sharing the revenue equally.May be the Minority members don’t understand what education infrastructure means. Which infrastructure is important than human capital? The children are our future leaders and funding their education with oil revenue is not wrong at all,” he emphasised.
Mr Asiamah also explained that the other infrastructural deficits were being taken care of by their respective ministries therefore there will be infrastructure development under the oil revenue.
“There are roads being constructed with the oil revenue so it is not that this government has pumped all oil revenue into the funding of the Free SHS as being bandied,” he said.
“The minority are just talking because they know if they don’t talk their people will say they are not talking. Theydon’t want Ghana to develop.”
“What will we gain if we build many schools and parents can’t pay for the fees of their wards to get enrolled in those schools,” he quizzed.
He urged Ghanaians to ignore the Minority and help the New Patriotic Party (NPP) government to deliver on its mandate.