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North Tongu MP exposes govt’s massive education sector arrears

Member of Parliament for North Tongu Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa has accused the Akufo-Addo/Bawumia government of accumulating significant arrears, which he claimed are being covered up by “deceptive NPP propagandists.”

The North Tongu MP, who was once Deputy Education Minister of Education under the erstwhile NDC administration, took to Facebook to lament over the current state of the education sector in Ghana.

“The deceptive NPP propagandists who are inviting the nation to a debate on fabricated arrears left behind by Prof. Naana Jane Opoku-Agyemang as Education Minister are dishonestly covering up the mountain of arrears they have created”

According to Mr. Ablakwa, the government owes publishers 80% of textbooks supplied, amounting to a staggering GHS225 million. Additionally, the government reportedly owes the West African Examinations Council (WAEC) a colossal GHS129.8 million and has accumulated arrears in the 2023 Capitation Grant amounting to GHS18.4 million.

He also alleged that the government’s debt to utilities has led to mass disconnections in secondary schools.

Beyond these claims, Mr. Ablakwa stated that Parliament has received petitions from various groups within the education sector, where for instance, School Uniform Suppliers claimed they are owed GHS74 million, Teacher Unions are agitating over unpaid Tier 2 Pensions, and Food Suppliers reported that the government has not cleared all their arrears despite recent demonstrations at the Buffer Stock Company.

“This is the Akufo-Addo/Bawumia record on current frightening arrears in the Education sector as presented to Parliament by Education Minister, Dr. Yaw Osei Adutwum and contained in the Education Committee Report on the 2024 Budget Estimates as unanimously approved by Parliament”

“- GHS225 million owed to publishers for textbooks supplied

– GHS129.8 million owed to WAEC

– GHS18.4 million in accumulated arrears for the 2023 Capitation Grant

– Unpaid utilities leading to mass disconnections in secondary schools

– GHS74 million owed to school uniform suppliers

– Unpaid Tier 2 Pensions to teacher unions”

Mr. Ablakwa also questioned the wisdom of the NPP propagandists in starting the politics of arrears, given the party’s history of accumulating “reckless, destructive, unsustainable debts and arrears leading to a bankrupt economy and Ghana’s first-ever debt exchange programme and forced financial haircuts.”

The MP ended his statement with a defiant note, stating, “We are ready for them,” indicating a readiness to challenge the government on these issues.

By this statement, Mr. Ablakwa has let down the gauntlet, inviting the government and its communication machinery to a debate over the arreas in the education sector.