General News of Monday, 23 January 2017
The former Vice-Chancellor of the University for Professional Studies, Accra (UPSA), Professor Joshua Alabi, has denied permitting Strategic Energies Limited (SEL), to build a fuel service station behind the school.
Students have been protesting the location of the station close to the school, over fears of a possible explosion.
The Managing Director of SEL, Johnny Blagogee, stated the former Vice Chancellor had permitted the construction of the facility, however, in a sharp contrast, the former Vice Chancellor said Mr. Blagogee rather disrespected the concerns of the school.
“One time my registrar told me that the man came to his office and he told the man [Mr. Blagogee] he disagrees with him and that he shouldn’t do it [build the fuel service station behind the school]. So if the registrar who is the main administrator told you that, and you still went on to do the construction, I think that this is just a matter of disrespect to the University community.”
Prof. Alabi further expressed doubt he had any direct interaction with Mr. Blagogee, during which he sanctioned the construction.
Following recent cases of fuel station explosions in the country that has claimed many lives, students of UPSA have intensified their campaign to stop the operations of the SEL fuel station behind their school.
The students have blamed the La-Nkwantanan-Madina Municipal Assembly (LANMA), the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the National Petroleum Authority (NPA) for abandoning their responsibility and putting their lives in danger, by permitting the operations of the fuel station.
A source at LANMA said the construction only commenced after the VC approved it, although the assembly was hesitant in granting the permit.
Prof. Joshua Alabi however discredited the claim, urging the relevant agencies to engage the school on the matter.
“I don’t think my registry wrote that it is okay. We don’t have the right to okay the construction of the fuel station. What we did was to write to the agencies to go and check for us. We could be wrong in stopping the man. We are looking at it from the safety angle; but we are not the agency responsible for that. So we wrote to them [EPA], but when we write to them, they need to come and discuss whatever they find with us. But we have not had any serious response from them,” Prof. Alabi said.