As government prepares to commence talks with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for a bailout program, former Finance Minister Seth Terkper has charged government to candidly assess the sustainability of programs like the Free Senior High School Policy.
According to him, some of the flagship programs are a drain on governments' resources.
The announcement of plans to commence formal engagements with the International Monetary Fund (IMF), for the Bretton Woods institution, to provide a balance of payment support as part of a broader effort to quicken Ghana's build back in the face of challenges induced by the Covid-19 pandemic and, recently, the Russia Ukraine crises, has been met with stiff opposition in some quarters, especially from organisations like the Trades Union Congress (TUC), which fears Ghanaian workers will be worse-off as a result of the program.
Some have expressed concern over the scrapping of some key government policies to help check government expenditure.
In an interview with Citi Business News on the subject, Seth Terkper urged government to candidly assess some of its key programs.
“The question we should be asking ourselves is; do these programs have the right design and are we able to pay for them? We know it. The headmasters and other stakeholders like contractors have all spoken about a lack of payment when it comes to the programs they are a part of. So it's not a question of whether the IMF is going to push us. We have to candidly question ourselves on the sustainability of our programs like the Free SHS, especially in an environment where we don't have access to the market to borrow.”
Mr. Terkper further said he thinks, “like other programs in the past, the Free SHS needs to be redesigned.”