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11.05.2019 General News

UG Management To Be Dragged To Parliament Over Moves To Increase Fees, Privatize Halls

By Clement Akoloh
Hon. Peter Nortsu-Kotoe, Ranking Member on Education Committee
Hon. Peter Nortsu-Kotoe, Ranking Member on Education Committee

Authorities of the University of Ghana will be made to face Parliamentary Select Committee on Education over its decision to increase academic user and facility fees beginning with the next academic year.

They are expected to defend its proposed plan to privatize some of the university halls.

Authorities of the University of Ghana say they are compelled to take such decision due to some financial constraints.

The University authority was dragged to court over failure to settle a 43million Cedis loan facility it secured in 2008 to build four halls for the school. The school lost the case in court and was compelled to pay a judgement debt of 528 million Cedis.

The university management was also asked to show good fate by depositing 50million Ghana Cedis by the end of May 2019 or lose control of the halls.

Speaking in an interview on Joy FM, the Dean of Students of the University of Ghana, Professor Godfred Bokpin, indicated that the institution could no longer honour all its financial obligations including the judgment debt if it does not increase fees in the next academic year.

“There is the need to take a realistic look at the fees that students are paying because the university is heavily under-resourced by government. The binding fiscal constraints on the university has to be addressed,” he said.

However, the Ranking Member on Parliament’s Education Committee, Peter Nortsu Kottey has said the University has not been authorised to charge new fees unapproved by Parliament.

According to him, no new fees has come to the Education Committee for approval.

“As far as the Committee is aware, no such fees were submitted for approval. Fortunately, I am a member of the Subsidiary Legislation Committee which is also responsible for legislation on some of these fees. As I speak, nothing of this nature has come,” he indicated.

He said when an issue of that sort came up in Parliament some time back, the Minister of Education claimed his Ministry had submitted some new approved fees to the Ministry of Finance to be present before Parliament but that has not been done.

“So for almost two years now no such fee for approval has come before Parliament. Because, once we have not approved any fees for them, they are to maintain fees that were approved two or three years ago,” Peter Nortsu intimated.

He emphasized that the Parliamentary Select Committee on Education will invite management of the university to appear before them when Parliament resume sitting.