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21.05.2019 General News

UG Prays For 'Life Support' Over Debt

By Clement Akoloh
UG Prays For 'Life Support' Over Debt

Government would have to intervene to rescue the University of Ghana from losing control of its assets after the school had failed to pay a judgement debt it incurred over non-payment of a loan facility which was meant to construct four new residence halls for the students.

The Ministry of Education has promised to reach a deal with a consortium of Banks that provided a loan amount of 43 million Cedis for the construction of some four new halls in the school.

Failure to service the loan within the agreed contract terms has shot up to 520 million Cedis and the school has up to the end on May 2019 to pay a goodwill amount of 50 million Cedis or lose control of the halls it used the money to construct.

Fearing management of the school may privatize the newly built halls in order to raise money to meet their debt obligations, the Student Representative Council of the University of Ghana, have been agitating and calling on government to intervene.

According to the students, any move to privatize the halls would be resisted fiercely over fears that privatization of the new halls will increase the already unbearable living conditions of students on campus.

The Minister of State responsible for tertiary education, Prof Kwesi Yankah, appealed to the leadership of the student body to exercise restraint as steps are being taken to resolve the matter.

He made the appeal after a meeting with the management and student leaders of the University of Ghana, Legon, concerning the alleged plans to privatize some of the school’s halls which comprise Hilla Limann, Alexander Adum Kwapong, Elizabeth Frances Sey and Jean Nelson Aka halls.

While the President of the Student Representative Council, Sylvester Amoako Kwarshi welcomed the move by government to rescue the University, he urged government to expedite action on its promise since the due date for payment of the debt is getting nearer.

Speaking in an interview on the issue, the SRC President of the University of Ghana, Sylvester Amoako Kwarshi says they would want to see more definite action from government before the deadline.

“We want to say that government has expressed good fate and we are grateful. We want to see more definite action within the early hours of next week. So we will keep our fingers crossed; work hand in hand with government and the Counsel and know what next week has for us,” he stressed.