The Minister of Energy-designate, Matthew Opoku Prempeh says he does not regret benefiting from the GETFund Scholarship prior to becoming a government appointee.
He made this remark when he appeared before the Vetting Committee of Parliament on Friday, February 12, 2021.
“Members of this House [Parliament] access scholarships from GETFund . 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.”
This is in sharp contrast with what he said when his name together with that of the then Procurement Minister; Sarah Adwoa Safo and the Executive Secretary of the National Council for Curriculum and Assessment; Prince Hamidu Armah were listed as scholarship beneficiaries of the scheme in a performance audit report from the Auditor-General.
The Minister in a statement described this claim as “false and calculated to cause embarrassment and public ridicule.”
He further clarified that he was only a “recipient of GETFund award in 2014 to participate in a 3-week certificate program at the Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University.”
The Auditor-General ultimately indicted the GETFund for breaching its mandate and “illegally” funding foreign scholarships.
The performance audit report said the GETFund Secretariat “breached the object of the fund and administered the scholarship themselves.”
The report also said, “GETFund did not establish any systems, policies and procedures to ensure the economic, efficient and effective use of public funds.”
The Auditor-General concluded that the failings of the GETFund led to brilliant but needy students being deprived of scholarship in favour of politicians in some cases.