UESD campus relocation ‘illegal, insulting’ - Okudzeto Ablakwa

Ablakwa Minister2 Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, Former deputy education minister and Member of Parliament for North Tongu

Thu, 9 Nov 2017 Source: classfmonline.com

Former deputy education minister Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa has said the Akufo-Addo government’s attempt to relocate a second campus of the University of Environment and Sustainable Development (UESD) from Donkorkrom to Bunso is an “illegality” and “insult to parliament”.

The North Tongu MP argues that the foundation campus for the university is entrenched in an Act of Parliament and, so, government cannot abandon Donkorkrom without recourse to the legislature.

“If you look at the University of Environment and Sustainable Development Act, Act 898, it is clear in Section 3 of the Act that the foundation campuses will be in Somanya and Donkorkrom. After [that] the university council has the right to establish other campuses in other parts of the country

“For the government to be proceeding to site this second campus in Bunso, the government has engaged in an illegality and flagrantly disregarded the Act, and, for that matter, affronting a decision of parliament.

“You cannot move away from Donkorkrom and leave the people abandoned. Is Ghana no longer a constitutional republic?” he questioned in an interview with Moro Awudu on Class91.3FM’s Executive Breakfast Show on Thursday, 9 November.

Mr Ablakwa was reacting to a statement from the Ministry of Education that there was no agreement to site the second campus in Donkorkrom.

The Ministry's statement signed by Education Minister Dr Mathew Opoku Prempeh, said: “In its handing over notes during the transition following the 2016 election, the previous government did not mention Donkorkrom as a prospective site, clearly because there had been no agreement to site a university campus there.

“Indeed, on page 22 of the said handing over notes, it is stated thus; ‘Following the enactment of the University of Environment and Sustainable Development Act 2015(Act 898) Parliament has approved a loan facility of Forty-Five Million Five Hundred and Seventy-Five Thousand Euros (€45,575,000.00) for the establishment of the proposed University of Somanya in the Eastern Region. It is to be expected that as Deputy Minister in charge of Tertiary Education under the previous government, Hon. Ablakwa knows or ought to know these facts. The University of Environment and Sustainable Development (UEDS), like all public projects, is a national one. It is therefore unfortunate that Hon. Ablakwa seeks to put on a partisan cap and attempts to cause disaffection for this government in certain parts of this country.

“The Ministry of Education wishes to state unequivocally that Hon. Ablakwa’s claim that an agreement had been reached to set up the university with Donkorkrom as one of its campuses and that government has reneged on it by relocating it to Bunso is completely false, preposterous and without merit,” the statement noted.

Mr Ablakwa admits there is nothing wrong with government establishing additional campuses, but said the Akufo-Addo administration must not “shortchange the people of Donkorkrom. Don’t discriminate, we are all Ghanaians”.

For him, government should raise additional funding so that “you do Donkorkrom and you can do any other campus including Bunso and any other campus”.

Source: classfmonline.com