An Energy Minister nominee, Dr Matthew Opoku Prempeh has strongly maintained that he did no wrong when he accessed a Ghana Education Trust Fund (GETFund) scholarship in 2016.
The former Education Minister told Parliament’s Appointment Committee on Friday during his vetting other MPs access the state-sponsored scheme and as such he qualifies same.
“Members of this House [Parliament] access even on that particular course [in 2016]. I went with someone on the Majority side [at the time.] I do not regret it, it wasn’t done for just me and if I get the same opportunity, I will do it again”, Napo, as he is affectionately called told the House.
There was outrage on social media after an audit report revealed that Dr. Mathew Opoku Prempeh and Dr. Prince Armah, the Minister and the Executive Secretary of NaCCA respectively were granted scholarships by GETFund to support their education.
Another government official who was mentioned in the audit report was then Procurement Minister Adwoa Safo.
Reacting to the news, GETFund clarified that the officials were given the scholarship years before the current Akufo-Addo administration, adding the Act which sets up the Fund “is not limited to needy but brilliant students.”
“The Fund may, per its mandate, also provide support for such other educational activities and programmes to serve strategic national interests.
“The above having been served, it is worthy of note that the aforementioned persons have not been awarded scholarships by the Fund under the current administration,” the GETFund statement read.
According to Act 581 (GETFund Act 2000) which sets up the GETFund, the objects of the Fund are as follows:
- (1) The objective of the Fund is to provide finance to supplement the provision of education at all levels by the Government.
(2) For the purpose of attaining this objective, the monies from the Fund are to be expended as follows: (a) to provide financial support to the agencies and institutions under the Ministry of Education, through the Ministry, for the development and maintenance of essential academic facilities and infrastructure in public educational institutions particularly, in tertiary institutions;
(b) to provide supplementary funding to the Scholarship Secretariat for the grant of scholarships to gifted but needy students for studies in second-cycle and accredited tertiary institutions in Ghana;
(c)to contribute monies from the Fund towards the operation of student loans schemes for students in accredited tertiary institutions through loan scheme mechanisms and agencies, approved by the Minister;
(d) to provide, through the National Council on /tertiary Education, grants to tertiary institutions,(i) to train brilliant students as members of faculties;(ii) to undertake research and other academic programmes of relevance to national development; and(e) to provide monies to support such other educational activities and programmes for the promotion of education as the Minister in consultation with the Board may determine.
Source: Daily Mail GH