Clement Apaak demands forensic audit into Free SHS expenditure

Deputy Ranking Member on the Education Committee in Parliament, Dr Clement Apaak,

Member of Parliament for Builsa South has called for a forensic audit into government’s Free SHS expenditure. 

Clement Apaak said there are inconsistencies in the government’s figures on the actual expenditure of the programme.

The Deputy Ranking on the Education Committee of Parliament thus asked the government to come clear on the issue. 

He believes that this is the only way lingering issues surrounding the policy will be addressed effectively. 

“The confusion around this issue clearly confirms my suspicion that something is amiss with the SHS policy and that is why with all the amounts being bandied around, the programme is still challenged.”

“Clearly, something is not right, and to think that he [Finance Minister] announced a figure that is far below what he had reported on different occasions in Parliament clearly confirms my point that there is a need for a forensic audit regarding the financing of the Free Senior High School,”he said on Accra-based Citi FM. 

The Finance Minister had indicated in the mid-year review of the Budget Statement and Economic Policy that the government had spent a total amount of GH¢5.3 billion on the programme, a figure which is inconsistent with the previous figure of GH¢7.62 billion in the 2021 budget.

As a result, some Ghanaians including CSOs have have doubted the figures given as the expenditure for the policy. 

For instance, the Executive Director of Eduwatch Africa, Kofi Asare, has said government is not being truthful to Ghanaians on the true cost of the Free SHS policy. 

According to him, the figures are revised downwards. 

“The government’s own account of how much it has spent on the Free SHS policy since 2017 keeps changing and evolving. It keeps changing not by increasing but fluctuating. Last year around the same time, the Finance Minister addressed them on the mid-year and he submitted that ¢7.62 billion had been shifted so far unto the policy since 2017.”

“Now a year after, when we have actually added to the numbers, yesterday the same minister comes to the house and indicate that the total amount government has spent on the Free SHS is now ¢5.3 billion which is over ¢2 billion less than what was reported last year.