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Government urged to allow public universities to retain 100% IGF

By
Christabel Addo/William Fiabu, GNA
    

Accra, July 22, GNA –
Professor Ebenezer Oduro Owusu, the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Ghana,
has appealed to government to revisit the issue of financial clearance and
allow public universities to retain 100 per cent of their Internally Generated
Funds (IGF).

This, he said, would
allow these institutions to operate at optimal levels and continue training the
next generation of leaders for the nation.

“We have received
notification that public universities are required to cede 34 per cent of their
Internally Generated Funds (IGF) to government. University of Ghana, like other
public universities, depends heavily on its IGF to operate, as government
funding is woefully inadequate,” he said.

He said having to
relinquish 34 per cent of IGF would put the University in a dire financial
state and appealed that the issue be reviewed by government to ensure the
smooth running of public tertiary institutions.

Prof. Owusu made the
appeal on Friday during the Third Congregation of the College of Basic and
Applied Sciences since the governance of the University of Ghana was
restructured into colleges in August 2014.

He said 3,858 students
were to graduate on Friday and Saturday at various levels from all the four
Colleges in the University of Ghana. This is made up of 1,148 at the
Postgraduate, 2,449 at the Bachelor, and 261 at the Diploma levels
respectively.

Prof. Owusu
congratulated the first batch of graduands who were from the College of Basic
and Applied Sciences for undergoing four years of Graduate and Undergraduate
programmes indicating that another set of ceremonies would be held in November
this year.

He, however, said the
continued lack of financial clearance for recruitment meant that the
institution was severely constrained in the employment of faculty,
administrators and other staff to replace those who left the University.

“For instance,
allocation for Goods and Services for the tertiary education sub-sector ranges
between one and two per cent of the sub-sector’s total budget, making it
virtually impossible to carry out planned activities”.

Prof. Owusu said the
situation was adversely affecting academic work as there was simply not enough
staff to teach and provide the necessary support services.

He explained that
because the University had not received clearance to employ new full-time
staff, it spent a large chunk of its IGF in paying critical staff, whom the
institution had taken on, to ensure that academic work was not negatively
affected.

He, however, said he
was happy with the news that councils for public universities would soon be
inaugurated to ensure the progress of the institutions.

Prof. Oduro said the
absence of such councils had meant that many decisions and initiatives had had
to be placed on hold and, therefore, looked forward to working with members for
the progress of the University.

Mr Kojo Botsio
Aduhene, a renowned Businessman, who was the Guest Speaker, urged the graduands
to consider the various degrees acquired as an initial capital for expansion
and growth.

He made reference to
some giant nations such as America and China who started very humbly but, with
perseverance, had attained and maintained great achievements and advancements.

Mr Aduhene said to
create wealth required humility, big dreams, building skills, boldness and
taking risks, as well as perseverance, maintaining high levels of integrity and
giving back to society what had been achieved without expecting a reward.

He, therefore,
encouraged the graduands to go out and raise the bar of excellence.  

The Deans of the
various Schools which included Biological Sciences, Agriculture, Engineering
Sciences, Physical and Mathematical Sciences, and Veterinary Medicine,
presented the graduands for conferment.

GNA

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