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Minority To Gov’t: Reinstate Toll Booths And Hold National Conversation On Free SHS

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Minority Leader in parliament, Haruna Iddrisu, has called on government to reintroduce the collection of toll, as part of efforts to mobilise revenue to address the growing economic challenges in the country.

According to him, there is the need for government to resume the nationwide collection of road toll in addition to a national policy on government’s flagship Free SHS policy.

Mr. Haruna Iddrisu stated that, if the policy is not subjected to a thorough analysis by all stakeholders, it may affect the fortunes of education in the country.


He made these comments in reaction to a press conference by the Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta, on Thursday, where he announced some measures by government to mitigate the existing economic hurdles.

“On Free Senior High School, we’ve heard that nothing will change about it. We think that there must be a national conversation on the future of education in our country. There must be, because we further have cause to believe that we are investing in literacy and numeracy and not in human capital.


It’s only in Ghana that at the basic level, everybody passes. That cannot be competitive, and that cannot make our products competitive in the world tomorrow”, he said.

Haruna Iddrisu added that, “On the matter of toll booth, we want it reinstated, and we demand that booths be made functional and the revenues accruing from it made available for the republic. They have no business, as if when you have the mandate to govern, you can just do as you please. Nowhere in the world, will you travel and you’ll not see functional toll booths.

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The state has lost significant amount of money, arising out of it. We think that it’s only proper that it’s reintroduced and probably adjusted, so that we can take in the needed revenue and use it as a vehicle to promote public private partnership in the development of our road infrastructure and other infrastructure needed”.





Addressing the press on Tuesday, the Finance Minister said government is committed to ensuring that all children of school going age are able to access quality education.

In view of this, he disclosed that government has no intention of “rolling back” its flagship Free Senior High School (SHS) programme. He explained that the programme is a sustainable approach to transform the country.


“Let me say this, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has absolutely no intention to roll back on a major policy like Free SHS. We see education as the best enabler for sustainable economic growth and transformation and will do more to improve on it for it to serve more and better our children,” he stated.

His revelation comes after the 2020 running mate of former President John Mahama, Prof Naana Jane Opoku-Agyemang, said that she is waiting with bated breath for the definition of ‘review’ that would be applied to government’s flagship programmes.

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The Information Minister, Kojo Oppong-Nkrumah had earlier this week said government will review all its 16 flagship programmes, including Free SHS.

Professor Opoku-Agyemang, however, could not comprehend why the same people who alleged that former President John Mahama meant ‘cancel’ when he used the word ‘review’ want to do what they once criticised.

“When we said ‘review’ others said we were going to cancel. Today, we are waiting for the definition of review from the ‘Black Dictionary’ since that is the source that they use for many things,” she said at the launch of TEIN App on Monday.

Prior to the 2020 election, President Akufo-Addo said Ghanaians should not allow the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) to review its flagship Free SHS programme when it comes into office.





The President said Mr. Mahama’s return could mean the cancellation of the programme.


However, the NDC flagbearer had said he will review the Free-SHS policy within his first 90-days in office if elected in the upcoming 2020 general elections.

The NDC flagbearer cited inadequate consultation with stakeholders in exploring the most effective ways to implement the programme.

Earlier this week, conversations on Free SHS arose when the government announced a review of its flagship programmes.






The Free SHS programme was a major campaign promise by then-candidate Nana Akufo-Addo in 2016, which has subsequently become an essential part of the educational system.

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However, a year after its implementation, Mr Ofori-Atta himself said the policy should have targeted persons with genuine needs and not made to benefit everyone.

As one of the leading campaigners for change in government in 2016, the Minister said people in his economic bracket should not be enjoying such a policy.

“True, it may be that there have to be changes in the way we are administering it. I can’t take my child to Achimota or Odorgono and leave him or her there and drive away and not pay for anything whiles I can pay for ten people”, he said.













































































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