July 8, 2014

The Deputy Education Minister has lashed out at the minority in parliament for questioning a 156 million dollar World Bank loan facility that will among other things finance scholarship schemes for some underprivileged Senior High School students.

Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa said the decision by the minority to criticise the loan facility without availing itself the right information was to say the least irresponsible.

The Chairman of the Public Accounts Committee Mr. Agyemang Manu at a press conference said the loan facility was an opportunity for the government to create loot and share.

He wondered why the government was seeking to create a transient scholarship secretariat to manage the scheme when a substantive secretariat existed and underfunded.

“The dubious part of the project is the allocation of 16 million for research, monitoring and evaluation.

“The deputy Education Minister said 40 per cent of the amount will go into supervising consultants..” Don’t we have outfits at the ministry that monitors and supervises the provision of Educational Infrastructure?” Agyemang Manu questioned.

It is a “dishonest strategy to create avenue to siphon public funds,” he alleged.

When the host of Joy FM’s Top Story programme Evans Mensah confronted him with the details of what the 16 million dollars would be used for, Mr Agyemang Manu indicated that the MPs were not furnished with that information.

He accused the government of not being transparent saying, “When you are not transparent enough you create room for people to be suspicious.”

He did not understand why the government would have to borrow money for monitoring and evaluation.

“If you had made all these things available to us in Parliament we would have done some serious scrutiny and voiced our opinions on this matter . Why do you give us room to begin to accuse you of suspicion before you begin to give this to media houses?” he charged.

But the Deputy Educational Minister Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa said the opposition NPP goofed big time.

He accused them of shifting goal post.

“First it was that we were borrowing money to buy pads. I have noticed there is a major shift. They no longer refer to that. They appreciate that they have goofed big time and so they have shifted the goal post and are now talking about value for money.

He said if the minority members did not have enough information on the loan, on what basis were they accusing government of creating, looting and sharing.

“Is that what you would want to call a responsible opposition?” he jabbed.

He dismissed claims that they were creating another secretariat to administer the new scholarship programme.

He explained that a committee is being put in place to administer the scheme.