General News of Monday, 19 January 2015
Pressure group, the Progressive Nationalist Forum (PNF) has charged the government to pay off its debt to the Ghana Education Trust Fund (GETFund), which it says amounts to over GH¢ 300 million.
According to the group, the amount of debt accrued is as a result of the government’s refusal to release funds owed GETFund over the years.
An Accra Fast Track High Court in July 2014, ordered the Finance Ministry to immediately pay all outstanding arrears owed GETFund.
The court, presided over by Justice LL Mensah found the Finance Ministry’s failure to pay statutory funds into the GETFund illegal, after a suit was filed against the Ministry at the court by Richard Nyamah, the convener of PNF.
Mr. Nyamah had alleged that the government had failed to make any payments into the Fund between June 2013 and July 2014. He had threatened to seek an order to freeze the accounts of the government if it failed to pay the arrears owed the FUND in full.
However, six months since the court’s ruling, the group is accusing the government of not showing any commitment towards fulfilling the court’s order.
Richard Nyamah in an interview with Citi News said: “Currently, government is indebted to GETFund of an amount of not less than GH¢ 325 million. There have been no serious attempts on the part of the government to really pay off the monies.” It is obviously a breach, the ruling was specific, pay all that you are indebted to the GETFund and ensure that you go by the law that states that within 30 days of receipt of all the VAT invoices, two and a half percent is paid to GETFund,” he stated.
The PNF believes that the debt owed by the government has halted the GETFund’s infrastructural development plans and other projects it intended to embark on.
The GETFund is a public trust set up by an Act of Parliament in 2000 with the core mandate of providing funding to supplement government effort in the provision of infrastructure and facilities within the public sector from the pre-tertiary to tertiary level.
It also provides funding to support the procurement of education equipment and promotion of staff development and research especially at the tertiary level.