Parliament cautions Education Ministry over reliance on IGF

Author: Kester Aburam Korankye
Matthew Opoku Prempeh
Matthew Opoku Prempeh

A parliamentary committee on education has cautioned the Ministry of Education against use of Internally Generated Funds (IGF) to acquire goods and services.

According to the comittee, the practice of using IGFfor goods and services may adversely affect the operations of the ministry if it fails to meet its target.
 
The ministry intends to fund a significant portion of its activities this year with some GH¢ 1.6 billion expected to be raised internally. The amount represents a whopping increase of 149 per cent over the amount allocated through the ministry’s budget from IGF last year. 
 
Considering the importance of the education sector to the socio-economic development of the country, the committee, chaired by Mr Stevens Siaka, at its meeting in December last year, cautioned the Minister of Education, Dr Matthew Opoku Prempeh, that over reliance on IGF may jeopardise activities of the ministry since such funds from IGF cannot be guaranteed.
 
A report by the committee ,however, commended the ministry for putting in place measures to increase its revenue generation this year and entreated the sector minister to effectively implement those measures to ensure that the ministry met its target in order not to throw the planned programmes and activities of the ministry’s various agencies into disarray.
 
There was a marginal increase of 11.2 per cent in the ministry’s total budgetary allocation of GH¢ 9.28 billion for this year over the allocation of GH¢8.39 billion to the ministry in 2017.
 
Obstacles
 
The committee further noted in the report that delays in the release of the government budgetary allocation, particularly for goods and services, continued to be a challenge to many of the agencies under the jurisdiction of the ministry.
 
It indicated that officials of the Ghana Library Authority, the Ghana Book Development Council, the National Council for Curriculum and Assessment, the Non- Formal education Division, the National Teaching Council and the National Inspectorate Board, lamented the delays in releases of funds for expenditure relating to their goods and services.
 
Such delays, the report noted, could cripple the agencies and adversely affect the provision of quality education in the country.
 
Meanwhile, the committee, according to the report observed that, inadequate staffing, office accommodation and vehicles were challenges confronting almost all the agencies under the ministry and that could hinder the smooth running of operations of the agencies, thereby rendering it difficult for them to perform to the optimum level.
 
Recommendation
 
To curtail such challenges which the committee maintained could affect the delivery of quality education in the country; it urged the Ministry of Finance to cooperate with the Ministry of Education to ensure that financial clearance was granted to pave the way for the recruitment of the required personnel by the agencies.