UG Hospital: My position made people uncomfortable – Prof Aryeetey

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General News of Wednesday, 24 January 2018

Source: classfmonline.com

2018-01-24

Prof AryeeteyFormer Vice Chancellor of the University of Ghana, Prof Ernest Aryeetey

Prof Ernest Aryeetey has said he foresaw the raging controversy over the University of Ghana Medical Centre, thus, his decision to step down from the board way back early last year.

The $217million health post has been a white elephant for over a year although the first phase of construction has been completed and ready for use.

The Ministry of Health and the University are fighting over its management.

The health post was registered in the name of Prof Aryeetey and Project Manager Prof Aaron Nii Lante Lawson at the Registrar General’s Department. It has former Deputy Minister Rojo Mettle Nunoo as a member of the Board of Directors.

Prof Aryeetey explained to the media that the University Council authorised him and Prof Lawson to front for the registration of the hospital since when registering companies, there is the need to provide the names of the directors.

Prof Aryeetey’s explanation follows comments by Deputy Minister of Health, Kingsley Aboagye Gyedu, that: “It will shock Ghanaians to hear that a limited liability company such as the facility has been registered in the names of Rojo Mettle Nunoo, Prof. Ernest Aryeetey and one Prof. Aaron Nii Lante Lawson in their respective names.”

Asked on Wednesday on Accra-based Starr FM if he would relinquish his directorship if that is what it would take for the hospital to start operating, Prof Aryeetey said: “I have already stepped down, I stepped down as director a long time ago, last year; of course, I know that my position made a number of people uncomfortable and I’ve already stepped down.

“I didn’t want anybody to have an excuse that because of Ernest Aryeetey, we can’t get this hospital going; I stepped down, nobody compelled me to step down, I did it on my own,” he told Morning Starr host Francis Abban.

He continued: “In fact, as far back as early last year, I wrote to Prof Lawson to say that I was quitting the board; in fact I could see what was coming.

“Look, most of what is playing out today began months ago, and I saw it coming, I didn’t want to be part of it, you think I’m enjoying talking to you on radio about a hospital that should have been functioning? No, I’m not enjoying it.

“When I retired, I thought I was going to sit home quietly, play with my grandchildren and be thinking about what I want to write in my memoirs, I didn’t think I would be spending every day explaining to journalists, explaining to the people of Ghana that I’ve done nothing wrong,” he said.

Prof Aryeetey insists that he stands by every decision he took vis-à-vis the hospital when he was vice chancellor. “When I took decisions, they were always with the backing of the University Council.”

“What I find interesting”, Prof Aryeetey noted, “is that the issue between the Ministry of Health and the University of Ghana should not be personalised, and, yet, the minister and his deputy have sought to personalise and draw me into it, hoping to get some mileage in terms of whatever they are interested in. But I take it in good faith, I’m a Ghanaian like everybody else, what I’ve done, I’m very proud of, there’s nothing I did as a vice chancellor that I’m not proud of.

According to him, “All it will take is for the Ministry of Health to comply with the MoU, that’s all, it’s as simple as that. Comply with the MoU. The MoU provides that the government of Ghana, through regular subvention, will take care of this hospital for the first five years, after these five years, the hospital should be able to stand on its own, pay its staff, pay for consumables, pay for maintenance, pay for anything that any company should be able to do.”

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