The Energy-designate Minister, Matthew Opoku Prempeh has once again justified his acceptance of a Ghana Education Trust Fund (GETFund) scholarship in 2016.
He told Parliament’s Appointment Committee on Friday during his vetting that MPs access scholarships from the Fund and there is nothing wrong with him also benefitting.
“Members of this House [Parliament] access even on that particular course [in 2016]. I went with someone on the Majority side [at the time.] I do not regret it, it wasn’t done for just me and if I get the same opportunity, I will do it again.”
A performance audit report of the Auditor-General on the administration of scholarships by GETFund revealed that then Education Minister Matthew Opoku-Prempeh, Procurement Minister and Deputy Majority Leader in Parliament, Sarah Adwoa Safo as well as the Executive Secretary of the National Council for Curriculum and Assessment (NaCCA), Prince Hamidu Armah all benefitted from the scheme.
The Education Minister is listed as studying National and International Security at Harvard University, receiving $12,800 for living expenses and $11,200 as tuition fees.
Procurement Minister Sarah Adwoa Safo is also listed studying at the Harvard Kennedy School enjoying $12,800 in allowances with $17,004 in tuition fees.
Dr Armah is studying Philosophy in Education at the University of Aberdeen, which comes with a benefit of £38,400 for living expense in addition to £33,000 for tuition fees.
All the cited appointees came out with various explanations debunking the allegations.
Some of them said they benefited prior to their appointment to serve in Akufo-Addo’s government.
Mr Opoku Prempeh issued a statement in which he said the claims were “false and calculated to cause embarrassment and public ridicule.”
According to him, he was only a “recipient of GETFund award in 2014 to participate in a 3-week certificate program at the Kennedy School of Govt, Harvard University.”
However, his response to a question on the subject asked by Alhassan Suhunyini, NDC MP for Tamale North, is in sharp contrast to the statement he issued last year when the issue made headlines.
The Manhyia MP stressed, “I do not regret it, it wasn’t done for just me and if I get the same opportunity, I will do it again.”