Napo, Adwoa Safo, Baffour-Awuah fingered in GETFund scandal

Sarah Adwoa Safo and Dr Matthew Opoku-Prempeh

The Ghana Education Trust Fund (GETFund) Scholarship scheme audited for the period 2012 to 2018 has revealed appointees in the NPP administration taking state cash to go to school.

The appointees – Dr Matthew Opoku-Prempeh, Education Minister, Sarah Adwoa Safo, Procurement Minister and Deputy Majority Leader in Parliament, Ignatius Baffour-Awuah, Employment and Labour Relations Minister, as well as other government appointees and Members of Parliament, have been listed by the Auditor General as beneficiaries of the GETFund scholarships, a policy meant for needy but brilliant students.

The performance audit report on the administration of scholarships by the GETFund also named some lecturers, heads of institutions and associates and media practitioners as having benefited directly from the scheme.

The Education Minister is listed as a Harvard University student, sponsored for the programme National and International Security, receiving US$11,200 and US$12,800 as tuition and living allowance respectively.

The Procurement Minister and Deputy Majority Leader in Parliament is also listed as a Harvard Kennedy School student who received US$17,004 as tuition fees and US$12,800 as a living allowance.

Ignatius Baffour-Awuah, is listed by the report as a student of University of Portsmouth, UK, studying BA International Relations and Politics, and enjoying £11,800 as tuition fees and £12,710 as a living allowance.

Prince Hamidu Armah, who is the Executive Secretary of National Council for Curriculum and Assessment (NaCCA), the report stated, for his Philosophy in Education programme at University of Aberdeen has received £33,000 and £38,400 as tuition fees and living expenses respectively.

Reactions from Education Ministry and GETFund

Ghana Education Trust Fund (GETFund), has denied awarding scholarships to the these persons under the Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo administration.

The Fund, however, stated that scholarships by GETFund is not limited to needy but brilliant students.

“We wish to categorically state that the award of scholarships by GETFund under the GETFund Act 2000, Act 581, 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.”

Meanwhile, the Education Ministry has also described that publication as vexatious.

The Ministry in a statement stated, “We are by this notice stating categorically that, under no circumstances has the Minister of Education, received any sponsorship for scholarship from GETFund since assuming office.”