According to an audit report of the Auditor General on the administration of the Ghana Education Trust Fund (GETFUND), scholarships were imprudently given to undeserving persons including Ministers and heads of institutions between 2012 and 2018.
The report also says that the fund overspent its allocations while its board of directors looked on helplessly.
Notable persons on the list include Education Minister, Matthew Opoku Prempeh, Procurement Minister Sara Adwoa Safo, Employment and Labour Relations Minister Ignatius Baffour Awuah.
Other beneficiaries include Kennedy Osei Nyarko, Deputy Minsiter of Agriculture and Prince Hamidu Armah who is Executive Director of National Council for Curriculum and Assessment (NaCCA).
The act establishing the fund is explicit that the funds for scholarship are reserved for gifted but needy individuals.
The Executive Secretary of the National Council for Curriculum and Assessment (NaCCA), Prince Hamidu Armah also received £38,400 for living expense in addition to £33,000 for tuition fees, While Education minister Mathew Opoku Prempeh, who listed at number 38, is receiving $12,800 for living expenses and $11,200 as tuition fees at security course at Harvard University.
The development has sparked outrage on social media with some Ghanaians questioning the process for granting scholarships by the GETFUND.
A presidential hopeful Marricke Kofi Gane wrote on Faceebook “Everyone is going Off and doing their own things… Total disrespect for our Laws and the citizens in whose interests the laws were made. In the end – a few people decide who benefits as a citizen whether indeed they have a need or not… Maybe that’s why Ghana is more some people’s country than it is for others…
“This 2020 Elections … May the cries of the people reach to the ears of Yahweh. May He stir the waters and may the things that must stand, stand!”
Kumbungu MP Ras Mubarak also wrote: “Some MPs, Ministers and others taking monies meant for gifted but needy students for their own studies abroad, while the real gifted but needy students in Kumbungu or Accra struggle to get help. It’s a big disgrace. How can ministers and deputy of the following ministries fall under the category of “gifted but needy” – Education, Employment, Agric, and Procurement? Please take time and go through the entire list. Sad. Taking taxes from the poor and giving it to the privileged”.
Many Ghanaians have reacted angrily to the development.