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GETFund Saga: It’s Immoral For MPs, Ministers To Get Scholarships Despite Article 71 Privileges – Ablakwa

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GETFund Saga: It’s Immoral For MPs, Ministers To Get Scholarships Despite Article 71 Privileges – Ablakwa

Member of Parliament (MP) for North Tongu and former Deputy Minister of Education, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa has stated that it is morally reprehensible and absolutely unconscionable for MPs and Ministers of State to be seek government scholarships despite their enormous privileges provided for under article 71 of the constitution.

A report released hours earlier has it that some top government officials have benefitted from GETFund scholarships meant for brilliant but needy students.

“The Executive Secretary of the National Council for Curriculum and Assessment (NaCCA), Dr Prince Armah, who was named as a beneficiary, in a statement, said although he was a beneficiary of a GETFund award, it was well-deserved and predated his appointment as NaCCA boss.

Education Minister Dr Mathew Opoku Prempeh, for his part, noted that he has not been a beneficiary of GETFund scholarship since becoming a minister in 2017. According to him, he was a recipient of a GETFund award in 2014 to participate in a three-week certificate programme at the Kennedy School of Govt, Harvard University.”

This has caused some level of outrage on social media among Ghanaian nationwide.

Amidst the rage, Mr. Okudzeto Ablakwa who was the Deputy Education Minister in charge of Tertiary Education intimated that his Ministry did not approve the scholarships as they were not brought to their attention.

According  to him those seeking to justify or defend the national disgrace by creating fake lists and adding names of other innocent colleagues to muddy the waters such as the dubious and criminal GNPC Scholarship list in circulation rather cut a very pitiable image of themselves.
“May I also caution that attempts by some beneficiaries and their spokespersons to rely on paragraph E of Section 2(2) of Act 581 to justify their conduct is untenable as contrary to the law, there was no Ministerial approval secured for these scholarships since they were not brought to our attention when we served at the Ministry of Education,” he wrote on his Facebook wall.

He further advised that “a code of conduct barring all MPs, Ministers and other high-ranking officials of state from directly benefiting from such schemes intended for the gifted but needy.”

Below is his full post on Facebook

Let us be honest: it is morally reprehensible and absolutely unconscionable for some MPs and Ministers of State despite all our Article 71 privileges to be actually scrambling with the poor masses over already woefully inadequate government scholarship opportunities.

As I noted earlier today at the forum to commemorate Ghana’s Day of Shame when Osagyefo Kwame Nkrumah’s government was overthrown 54 years ago, this is not the example Nkrumah taught us with the selflessness and genuine patriotism which underpinned his character as a true servant of the people.

I believe we can all emulate Nkrumah’s worthy example of shunning greed and a corrosive entitlement mindset. Public officers must create more opportunities for the masses and not encumber the few they are elected to administer. That is a monumental breach of trust and a betrayal of the masses.

Those seeking to justify or defend this national disgrace by creating fake lists and adding my name and that of other innocent colleagues to muddy the waters such as the dubious and criminal GNPC Scholarship list in circulation rather cut a very pitiable image of themselves.

The Auditor-General must be commended once more for his courageous and nationalistic effort.

By all means let’s give former and current GETFund functionaries between the audit period 2012 to 2018 and the stated beneficiaries the opportunity to be heard particularly as they will soon have to appear before Parliament’s Public Accounts Committee.

May I also caution that attempts by some beneficiaries and their spokespersons to rely on paragraph E of Section 2(2) of Act 581 to justify their conduct is untenable as contrary to the law, there was no Ministerial approval secured for these scholarships since they were not brought to our attention when we served at the Ministry of Education.

Moving forward, let us establish a clear code of conduct barring all MPs, Ministers and other high ranking officials of state from directly benefiting from such schemes intended for the gifted but needy.

May we all as politicians work to restore the confidence of the nation in public office as we take inspiration from the sacrificial and selfless legacy of the Osagyefo whose senseless overthrow by traitors is observed today.

source:peacefmonline

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