The Deputy General Secretary (Operations) of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), Mr Koku Anyidoho, has stated that the New Patriotic Party (NPP) government has gagged and prevented headmasters and headmistresses from expressing genuine concerns about how the free senior high school (SHS) policy is going to create future problems for the education sector.
Mr Anyidoho said the Ghana Education Service recently sanctioned a headmaster of a senior high school for commenting on the challenges that the free high school had impacted on his school.
He also made reference to a speech by the President of the Conference of Heads of Assisted Secondary Schools (CHASS) in which she stated that ‘’heads of schools are under serious pressure on the arrears of subsidies for schools, and that they are afraid to voice it, for fear of intimidation and sanctions’’.
He said while the government was struggling to provide funds for the free SHS, it was also restoring allowances to trainee nurses and teachers.
Mr Anyidoho said when the NPP was busy referring to the NDC as a supposedly ‘incompetent government’, “little did we know that they were a bunch of impotent elephants who were looking for political power only to satisfy their inordinate desire for power and not because they have any brilliant ideas to make Ghana a heaven on earth”.
Mr Anyidoho made the reference in an interview with the Daily Graphic at the weekend and said: “It is only the NPP government which has created 110 ministries in the history of this country to run a government even though it claims that it met empty coffers.”
“Meanwhile, this is a government that has the highest number of ministers, as well as the highest number of persons in charge of the security apparatus, yet it is the only government that is exhibiting such ‘gross incompetence’ when it comes to handling the security of the state.”
Mr Anyidoho said the fiscal stabilisation levy and the Special Import Levy were “new taxes literally because both were legislated to end in 2017. So if they are extending them, they have to bring new bills to be considered and passed by Parliament. Yet they say they are not introducing any new taxes. A third tax is the Africa Union Levy of 0.2 per cent on virtually all imports.
He said the budget had no schedules detailing revenue, expenditure, and financing. Allocations to the various sectors/agencies were not submitted. No notes on the GDP values.
The Deputy General Secretary said the financial statement did not provide details of the national debt, yet it was obvious the Energy Sector Levy Act (ESLA) debts and most recent borrowing were not added to the reported GH¢138 plus billion. Debt-GDP ratio was grossly understated.
He indicated that the national interest charges had increased from GH¢14 .9bn (2018).
“If there are no borrowings and the NDC debts are being paid off, why is the total interest payment going up, by as much as GH¢1bn?” he asked.