Danger looms for lecturers and administrators in the University of Education, Winneba (UEW) as their pension scheme is at risk. Readers should be informed that lecturers and senior administrators in Universities in Ghana operate a private pension scheme called GUSS. In order to secure their future, these monies are invested in projects to help build strong financial base for the scheme. Now this pension scheme is under serious threat and eminent danger. Government needs to act quickly. In this article, I take the trouble to explain the issues in order to draw attention to it. I will talk about the facts ONLY. The integrity of one of Ghana's reputable institutions is now on the line. Well-meaning people must stand up.
The Role of the Priest Pro-Vice-Chancellor, Rev. Anthony Afful-Broni
When the Winneba High Court Judge ruled on the July 14, 2017, he did not give any directive for on-going projects to be suspended. Note that the lawyers for Supi Kofi Kwayeera represented in court by Hon. Alex Afenyo Markins swore affidavit to the Winneba High Court withdrawing all reliefs related to the award of contracts. There was, therefore, no case of breaches related to the award of any on-going contracts in UEW.
However, the Pro-Vice-Chancellor, Rev. Father Afful-Broni, unilaterally wrote to all contractors working on projects to stop work. They complied. What he did not account for was that these projects are being undertaken with GUSS contributions, which is the private pension contributions of lecturers and administrators within the University.
Following the actions of the Pro-Vice Chancellor, Rev. Father Afful-Broni, many problems have been created that threatens the survival of the pension. The main problems are three-fold. These are that
- The projects have been unduly delayed. Much material is rusting OR getting wasted at the project sites.
- Anyone who understands the law of contracts knows what six months suspension means for multi-million projects. The contractors are coming for variation or may sue for damages.
- The banks are declining to give loans to GUSS to support the projects given the on-going uncertainties. This will be a disaster because GUSS may not be able to finance the project with its limited resources. If GUSS is able to fund the projects, members on pension may be at risk as all monies may get stuck in the projects. This will be a serious problem.
Unfortunately, the Pro-Vice-Chancellor, Rev. Father Afful-Broni, cares less about this. Very soon much money will be wasted to pay for variation. I hear, one contractor who has been asked to return to site submitted a budget for variation. I hear the request is huge. I do not know who (the University or Rev. Afful-Broni) will be paying for the variation. Remember that the University is already drawing about GHS40 million from its reserves to finance its 2018 budget. If people were as corrupt as they claimed, how come they saved over 100million in the reserves they are misapplying today! Common sense. These reserves are likely to be depleted within three years if we follow the current expenditure pattern adopted by Rev. Anthony Afful-Broni and Associate Professor Emmanuel Nicholas Abakah. Their unqualified Acting Finance Officer, Mr. Bruno Chirani Chirani is known to have a track record of mismanagement of funds. Mr Bruno, you know what I am talking about? I will not highlight that in this article.
Yet they have not learnt! Let me present the contributions of the Council Chairman to this unfortunate situation.
Role of the first 'fulltime' Council Chairman, Associate Professor Emmanuel Nicholas Abakah
The Council Chairman joins the fray with a two-point agenda of his own that promises to produce more catastrophe.
- He is scheming to become Chairman of GUSS Management Board against the provisions in the rules. I do not have a problem with the Council Chairman becoming head of anything. My concern is – he wants to loot GUSS as he is doing with the University. This is the same Council Chairman who organised more than 10 Council Meetings in two months. Council Chairman has become a full-time job for him (remember he resigned his position as President of Jayee University College to take up the position of Council Chairman for UEW). He wants to add GUSS meetings to get more allowances and to destroy GUSS as he is destroying UEW? Well….
- He wants to abrogate the contracts and re-award them. The agenda is clear. The Council Chairman thinks that University projects are like those claims in society that people get 10% from contracts that have been awarded.
What does these actions mean for GUSS and UEW? The current contractors will be paid for damages? Again, those who understand the law of contracts know the implications.
The looming danger
This is the worst case scenario that will bring UEW to its knees. There are serious repercussions beyond the financial implications of these irresponsible actions by the Council Chairman, Professor Emmanuel Nicholas Abakah, and the Pro-Vice-Chancellor, Rev. Anthony Afful-Broni. The single most important consequence is that UEW lecturers’ and administrators pension scheme will collapse. Your guess is as good as mine when that happens. The members of GUSS will not sit to watch that happen. No. Never! Their ineptitude and lies have been tolerated until now. Their greed has caused much disgrace to the name and reputation of the University that once received much international recognition including green environment award. What is this? Why such greed? Why such hard-heartedness? Why such commitment to destroy everything UEW stands for? I wonder if people have no conscience at all. Well-meaning people will rise up before you turn UEW into something else.
Son of a poor fisherman observing events in UEW
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