Benjamin Mensah, GNA
Accra, July 14, GNA - The Minority in Parliament has kicked against the approval of a loan agreement between Ghana and the Export–Import Bank of Korea to fund the proposed establishment of the Bunso satellite campus of the University of Environment and Sustainable Development (UESD).
The Export-Import Bank of Korea would provide US$90 million to finance the project if the House ratifies the loan agreement.
Mr. Cassiel Ato Forson, Ranking Member on the Finance Committee, has called for the rejection of the agreement, citing the breach of the law.
He said the university currently did not have a governing council, and the Minister for Education lacked the power to establish a university campus.
“I say this because clearly the Act that governs the establishment and governance of a university does not allow that.
We cannot allow the Minister of Education to disregard the Act that governs the establishment of a university.”
He added “we the members on this side of the House will not support this motion”.
Mr. Forson said he found it difficult to rationalize why the Government would want to go ahead with the Bunso project when there was no governing council in place.
“As we speak there is no council in place. I want to find out the basis on which that university is being established”, he added.
Mr Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, a former Minister of Education; and MP for North Tongu, accused the Government of bias - for choosing Bunso over Donkorkrom, the original site for the satellite campus.
Members on the Majority side, however, expressed surprise at the position taken by the minority and said there was absolutely nothing wrong with building the campus at Bunso.
Mr. Eric Kwakye Daffour, MP for Nkawkaw, said the proposed campus was going to benefit all.
The loan approval was deferred to Monday, July 16, because of the lack of quorum.
In February 2017, Parliament passed the University of Environment and Sustainable Development Bill 2014, and created the legal basis for the establishment of the University in the Eastern Region.
The University is to provide higher education, disseminate knowledge related to development in environment and agro-business, and create the needed environment that will foster exchange of knowledge.