Ministry Of Education Refutes Allegations Of A Wi-Fi Payment Scandal

Claims of poor service delivery and misappropriation of public funds related to the Wi-Fi for Schools Program have been refuted by the Ministry of Education.

According to a report published in The Fourth Estate, the Education Ministry paid GH¢56 million to Busy Internet, which is now Lifted Logistics Limited, for internet service, even though the company was unable to supply some schools around the country with services.

According to the research, despite the government having paid for the service, many schools participating in the government’s Wi-Fi for Schools Program have not had internet connectivity for months or even years.

Fourth Estate indicated that though the IT coordinators of some schools reported the challenges they were facing with the Wi-Fi connectivity, Busy Internet failed to act.

In a press release, the Ministry addressed allegations made in a report by The Fourth Estate Media, labelling the report as inaccurate and misleading.

The statement noted that the Government’s educational transformation agenda initiated in 2019 aimed to enhance internet connectivity across Senior High Schools, Colleges of Education, and educational offices nationwide.

It was anticipated that the increased connectivity would greatly boost research capacity, administrative effectiveness, and learning.

“The Ministry of Education would like to respond to the assertions made about the Wi-Fi for Schools Program in a recent report published by The Fourth Estate Media. The report is false and misrepresents the facts, implying that public funds have been misused and that service delivery has failed.

According to the Education Ministry’s press release, “in accordance with the review clause in the contract signed in 2019, an upward review of monthly recurring costs was approved by the PPA and capped to an amount not exceeding GH₵11,522,661.81 in 2023 due to the prevailing inflation and foreign exchange rates.”

It was mentioned that the Ministry only pays for the readily available dedicated internet, even though the amount of monthly recurring expenditure for services supplied has been approved.

In particular, the contract stipulates that pro rata payment will be made to the provider. As a result, any downtime that lasts longer than half of a given month will not be reimbursed.

“This means that if services fall short of the 50% (less than half of the month) threshold in a given month, the Ministry does not pay a pesewa, even if the approved amount of recurring expenditure is met.”

The Minister of Education also established a Validation Committee, whose job it is to thoroughly review each invoice before paying the vendor. For example, in February 2024, the Ministry presented an invoice for GH¢6,498,827.90, but after vetting, it paid GH¢3,637,569.20,” the statement continued.

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