Volta Varsity Cries For Cash
A source close to the government added that ‘in fact they have left the university to its fate and treating it like it is a fully-fledged university that can stand alone on its feet.’
The source explained that owing to the development, Professor Fred Newton Binka, the Vice Chancellor of the University and other officials were working around the clock to ensure that UHAS continues to operate in the second year without any hitches.
The shocking revelation comes on the heels of recent information that the UHAS, which has been christened ‘Volta University’ by residents in the Volta Region, lacks funds to operate on campuses in Ho and Hohoe for the second year.
DAILY GUIDE gathered that the university needs GH¢24 million to construct facilities, as well as employ more lecturers.
Part of the money would be used for counterpart funding in the construction of facilities at the university.
Prof. Binka, in an interview with DAILY GUIDE, debunked assertions that the government had abandoned the university, but admitted the university was facing some financial challenges.
He explained that most of the university’s projects intended for the second year have either stalled or progressing slowly due to the lack of funds.
For instance, reporting date for students has been changed twice.
Although continuing students, who are about 154, reported on 26 th September, 2013, the 500 fresh students are yet to report after the date was changed from 7-14 October, 2013.
The Vice Chancellor said the financial situation of the university was ‘critical’ and passionately pleaded with government to urgently assist them.
The experienced and hardworking academician has made several appeals to the authorities to help the University.
The institution lacks many facilities and if hostels, laboratories, office complex and accommodation for lecturers are not ready, the operation of the institution would be difficult, he noted.
The university authorities are awaiting the completion of a 250-student capacity auditorium and 10-unit classrooms to help admit 1,000 students.
DAILY GUIDE’s source said the 12-newly recruited lecturers are still struggling to gain accommodation while those who have been successful are currently waiting for the completion of temporary offices.
More lecturers are expected to move to the Hohoe campus of the university.
The source therefore pleaded with the authorities not to treat UHAS like University of Ghana, Legon and Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), which generate enough funds internally.
Government has to give UHAS assistance out of the mainstream where funds will be consistently disbursed for at least five years until UHAS stands on its feet and can compete with other major universities, the source noted.
DAILY GUIDE’s investigations revealed the university has not received money from government to carry out its activities for more than six months.
The development has compelled the University to obtain services on credit in anticipation that funds from government and the tuition fees from students would be used to settle its indebtedness.
The Volta Caucus in Parliament embarked on a tour to acquaint itself with the operations of the University last Thursday.
The NDC used the establishment of the University for propaganda but went to sleep afterwards.
The provision of laboratories and facilities for anatomy and physiology would facilitate the commencement of the medical school next year.
Due to the absence of laboratories, UHAS decided to offer lessons to students at the Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital.
But the Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital rescinded its decision due to pressure on its facilities.
Interestingly, the university’s designed three-storey laboratory complex is estimated to cost GH¢30 million but funds are unavailable.
He announced that the Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT) had offered to construct 500-bed capacity hostel on the permanent site of the university at Sokode.
Meanwhile, a Chinese firm Xanjian Group Company Limited has started the construction of the School of Basic and Biomedical Sciences and other facilities within 20 months on the permanent site.
The project, which would be executed with a $18 million grant from the China government, would also include an administration block, a hostel, about seven laboratories, a multipurpose hall and cafeteria and staff bungalows.
The Hohoe campus of the university is likely to start its activities this academic year.
Staff have been employed to facilitate programmes in Public Health Nursing, Disease Control, Nutrition, Environmental Health, Health information, among others.
UHAS, which intends to obtain 11 colleges, now offers courses in Medicine, Public Health, Medical Laboratory Sciences, Nursing, Midwifery, Physician Assistance Anesthesia and Physician Assistance Dietetics and Basic and Biomedical Sciences.
Medicine and Sports Medicine would be added later.
From Fred Duodu, Ho
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