IMF Bailout Won’t Affect Free SHS


THE INTERNATIONAL Monetary Fund (IMF) Resident Representative to Ghana, Dr. Albert Touna-Mama, has indicated that the fund has no intention of compelling the government to cancel the Free Senior High School policy.

According to him, although the policy has in recent times been criticised for being a massive burden on the country’s purse, “It is important to say that the Free SHS is a revolutionary policy, so why cancel it?”
He said this when he spoke on the breakfast show of local radio station, Citi Fmin Accra, yesterday.

Dr. Touna-Mama, said despite giving support to the policy,noted concerns about its effectiveness.

“It doesn’t mean that it is perfectly sustainable and efficient now, so that is a different conversation…The debate is more on how we make it sustainable and how we make sure we achieve efficiency,” he explained.

He, therefore, suggested further that some compromises with the policy that made secondary education completely free should be expected.

“It is good to go with an open mind about these things, so we are just getting started,” he said.

The IMF country representative said his outfit would be looking out for leakages while evaluating the impact of various expenditures with a priority to protect spending on social intervention programmes.

Dr. Touna-Mama described this as non-negotiable and said the IMF has been consulting with UNICEF and other development partners.

“We need to carve a space for programmes like LEAP and for programmes that are effective in protecting the most vulnerable,” he said.

The IMF recently concluded a fact-finding mission to Ghana in which it met with key stakeholders like the Vice President, Finance Minister and the Bank of Ghana.

The discussions focused on improving fiscal balances sustainably while protecting the vulnerable and poor; ensuring credibility of the monetary policy and exchange rate regimes; preserving financial sector stability, and designing reforms to enhance growth, create jobs, and strengthen governance.

Source : DailyGuide Network

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