General News of Sunday, 18 March 2018
The Vice Chancellor of the University of Cape Coast (UCC), Prof. Joseph Ghartey Ampiah, has stated that the University cannot take responsibility for the closure of the John Evans Atta Mills Library in Cape Coast.
He indicated that, even though the University of Cape Coast is supposed to be in charge of the library, there has not been a clear handing over of the facility to them.
“The Library was commissioned but it was not handed over, so when it came to the handing over, we sat down with the contractor, but we realized that the place was not complete; there were a number of things yet to be fixed, so we told the contractor that until he fixed those things we would not take over”, the Vice Chancellor explained.
He added that the contractor finally fixed some of the required things and “handed over a portion” of the facility to the university.
Prof. Ghartey Ampiah was speaking to the University’s Radio Station ATL FM, after concerns were raised about how the facility built in honour of the late President had been left unused.
“There were other things they needed to bring into the Library they had not done, but they felt that we should take over the place and start running it”. In July 2016, the then President, John Dramani Mahama, inaugurated the John Evans Atta Mills Presidential Library as a memorial and digital research centre, with a 100-capacity auditorium, a forty-five seater multimedia unit, seminar rooms and a museum meant for works and historical materials on the late President.
However, the digital library which was announced to be under the management of the Faculty of Arts of UCC was closed down after some months. Explaining further, Prof. Ghartey Ampiah revealed that, after holding a meeting with the contractor some time ago, he complained to the University that he was shutting down the facility because there were some monies that had not been paid him.
“Finally, the contractor left with the keys, and we don’t even know where the contractor is”.
The Provost for the College of Humanities and Legal Studies of UCC, Prof. Dora Edu-Buandoh, who was part of the planning and commissioning of the facility, has also debunked the assertion that the facility was officially handed over to the University of Cape Coast.
She said “Officially, we have not signed any document that we have taken over the building. It was commissioned; symbolically, at the commissioning, it was said that it had been given to us, but officially, there is a document we should sign to show that we have taken the building”.