"Return To Work"-President Appeals To UTAG

President John Dramani Mahama on Friday appealed to members of the University Teachers Association of Ghana (UTAG) to return to work while their leadership negotiates with government.

He said the government had already released GHC25 million for the payment of salary arrears of UTAG, while negotiations are on-going with the Fair Wages and Salaries Commission for the payment of the book allowances of members.

President Mahama made this appeal when the Governing Council of the Ekiti State University of Nigeria called on him at the Flagstaff House, Kanda.

Members of UTAG have for sometime now raised concerns about unpaid arrears, compelling them to embark on a sit-down strike claiming they had exhausted other measures of negotiations.

Subsequently, government released GHC25 million for all payments although UTAG claimed their accounts were yet to be credited with the amount.

The board members were at the Presidency with a proposal to use President Mahama’s name for either the Faculty of Management Sciences of the school or a particular doctorate degree of the University.

The University early last year conferred a doctorate degree on President Mahama during a graduation ceremony in Nigeria, making him an aluminus of the school.

President Mahama who said he would study the options and get back to them at the appropriate time called for exchange of programmes between Universities in Ghana and Nigeria.

The programmes, he suggested, should be in the areas of research, lecturers, courses and games that would provide them with the opportunity to improve on their performance.

The President called on university authorities of the two countries to initiate courses that would feed the countries with ample manpower to take up responsible positions in the socio-economic development of the countries.

Professor Emeritus Akinjide Osuntokun, Pro-Vice Chancellor and Chairman of the Governing Council of the University, said their decision to name their faculties after the President was based on the fact that he was the only living aluminum who is a President.

“You are greatest among all our alumini because you are the only sitting President who is an aluminus of this famous school in Nigeria,” he added.

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