Tamale nurses college in crisis

By Daily Guide
By Daily Guide

6/22/2009 10:47:24 AM -

THE ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC) embarks on a profligate spending spree of GH¢1.3 billion on tea and pastries on the transition team alone, the administration of Tamale Nurses Training College (NTC) , the premier nursing institution in the region, has finally come to a halt. 

This follows a Tamale High Court order for the seizure of the only school bus with registration number GV 1332 U, over the non-payment of debts owed Duuna Farms, being cost of food stuff supplied to the school valued at GH¢ 31,772.50.  

The school which is on the verge of collapse is heavily indebted to most enterprises, organizations and individuals due to poor government funding.

 Investigations by DAILY GUIDE reveal that the debt started piling up shortly after the withdrawal of government's feeding subsidy some time ago.  

The institution thereafter relied on its internally generated funds and the government's administrative allocation budget to meet the feeding cost of the over 700 students of the school.

Duuna Farms was contracted to supply food stuffs and later paid, after both parties came to a consensus on the date and mode of payment. However, the Tamale Nurses College, soon after the feeding subsidy was scrapped off, failed to honour its part of the deal.  

The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Duuna Farms, our investigations revealed, tried to persuade the authorities of NTC to settle their indebtedness but this did not yield any dividends.  

He resorted to legal action at the beginning of this year at the Tamale High Court to compel the school pay for the amount owed but is yet to be paid fully.  

The court in its ruling awarded GH¢7, 847.80 cost as interest and damages on the amount owed, GH¢ 3,500 for breach of contract, and GH¢2,000 as general cost, bringing the total amount owed to GH¢ 45, 120.30.   

Based on the ruling, the school made an initial deposit of GH¢ 25, 000 and since then, it has failed to advance additional payment of the rest, compelling the court to seize the bus.  

When contacted, the Principal of the College, Sayimah Kombian, confirmed the seizure of the bus by the court to DAILY GUIDE, saying the school was heavily-indebted not only to Duuna Farms but other individuals.  

According to him, the confiscation of the sole bus of the school had deprived the students the opportunity to travel for practical lessons in other parts of the region and appealed to the government to urgently come to the aid of the school.  

The Deputy Director of Nursing Services said he could not tell the future of the institution the weeks ahead as debtors kept trooping into his office to request for payments expressing worry at government's meager support to the school.  

He stated that in the past, the school received about GH ¢19,800 quarterly as feeding subsidy, blaming the financial difficulty to government's withdrawal, saying the Internal Generated Fund (IGF) could no longer shoulder the responsibility.

DAILY GUIDE gathered that if the school fails to offset its debt owed Duuna Farms, the seized 45-seater Toyota Coaster Bus would be valued and sold together with other school equipment to meet the amount.  

A visit to the office of the principal revealed a queue of other debtors at the accountant's office, waiting to be paid their monies for either items supplied or services rendered.  

A deep-throat source indicated that the Nissan Land cruiser of the Regional Health Director was also confiscated since it was under his supervision the institution operated.   

Our sources say it took the timely intervention of some high ranking persons in government to effect the release of the car.

It would be recalled that DAILY GUIDE in one of its last week editions revealed that President Mills' bid to cut government expenditure in the various ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) could result in the closure of some institutions in the northern region.   

The Tamale Nurses Training College has taken the lead since it can no longer meet its administrative and other costs in the wake of harassment from debtors.

A copy of a Government of Ghana (GoG) Administration item-2 document in possession of DAILY GUIDE cut the school's monthly administrative expenditure by more than 300 percent despite the fact that the school managed with the little it received from the past government.  

The Tamale Nurses Training College which is currently receiving about GH¢ 35.80 is burdened with huge debts and our information discloses that others would head for court to demand their monies from the school.

From Stephen Zoure, Tamale