Release GETFund monies to enable them pay contractors – Ken Ofori-Atta told
Member of Parliament for Buem, Mr Kofi Adams, has asked the Finance Minister Hon. Ken Ofori-Atta to release funds to the Ghana Education Trust Fund (GETFund) to enable them pay contractors
According to him, the inability of GETFund to pay the contractors has resulted in abandoned projects all over the country.
Mr Adams explained that it came out from a meeting officials of the GETFund had with Parliament that the Ministry of Finance had failed to release their funds.
He noted that despite the government using GETFUnd as collateral for loans, works continue to stall on educational projects.
He told TV3 in an interview that “Unfortunately, contractors who we thought would be paid out of this seven billion [facility] that was raised through this means are still complaining of not being paid and looking at from last time till now.
“If we will continue to have a situation where these very contractors are not returning to site because they feel that they are owed for works already done and certificates so presented.
“It is unfortunate because the thinking was that with that huge resources available now, we will be able to complete all these projects. But that it is not happening and the funds now have to be paying every other time for these very facility that has already been taken but we are not seeing the effect of this facility in the completion of projects. That is why I am particularly worried.
“The last time GETFund came to parliament it looks more like it was the Ministry of Finance that is not releasing the moneys to them,” he said.
Last week, the Minority in parliament served notice that they would initiate a probe into a $1.5 billion security that was approved for the GETFund to undertake the completion of critical educational facilities.
Parliament in 2018 approved the $1.5 billion loan for the GETFund to support the development of educational infrastructure.
This was amidst objections raised by the Minority.
The National Democratic Congress (NDC) lawmakers insisted that they could not back the loan agreement because they were unaware of the lender of the facility.
Dr. Anthony Osei Akoto, the then Minister of Monitoring and Evaluation, said the minority members had been informed about the lender.
He went ahead to announce to the House who the lender was – CAL Bank.
“Mr Speaker, let us be honest with ourselves, other than that, we will be setting examples that we cannot continue to follow” he added.
But the minority, despite boycotting the passage, say they will probe this loan facility.
Dr Clement Apaak, Deputy Ranking member, Education Committee of Parliament told journalists after a tour of some uncompleted projects in the country on Tuesday, October 19 2021 that “We are all aware of the inadequacy of infrastructure which is why the obnoxious double-track system was introduced.
“So, when we have structures like this, 90 per cent complete, at a cost of 9 million cedis and yet we cannot complete it for students to have access to education, for classroom sizes to be reduced, for communities to have hope that their wards are going to benefit from the free senior high school, clearly, we cannot forgive government.
“Because the 1.5 billion dollars that GETFund was securitised to obtain was supposed to help complete what they themselves described as essential educational infrastructure and they indicated in their memo to parliament to that was to address the increased number of students who have come on stream as a result of the coming into being of the free SHS policy, so why is this here.
“Is it that we don’t have the money? What have they done with the 1.5billion that we securitised the GETFund for? Is it not time they come to parliament to account for how many of the critical educational infrastructure they have completed so that we know there is value for money in a community such as this which doesn’t even have a secondary school. Is it fair?”