Regional News of Friday, 17 January 2014
The Students Representative Council (SRC) of the University of Ghana, Legon, has kicked against the decision of the university authorities to introduce user charges for all vehicles entering the university from February 1, 2014.
The President of the SRC, Mr Eric Edem Agbana, told the Daily Graphic Thursday that the proposed charges were too exorbitant and that it was also wrong for students to be included in the category of people who would be paying the full charges.
He indicated that the leadership of students would use all avenues at its disposal, including demonstrations, to fight the introduction of the user charges that were announced.
Mr Agbana, therefore, appealed to the government and the authorities of the university to revise the policy of duty charges to save students from any burden, adding that commercial drivers would definitely pass the user charges onto students.
The university has announced that with effect from February 1, 2014, all vehicles entering the main campus and those using the road passing through the Staff Village would be required to pay a user charge. Private vehicles are to pay GH¢1 per entry while taxis and other small commercial passenger vehicles would be required to pay GH¢2 per entry. The university authorities indicated that large trucks delivering goods or passing through the campus would pay GH¢3 per entry.
They also said arrangements were being made for private road users to make one-time payments of GH¢400 per year; GH¢250 for six months and GH¢150 for three months. For the first two months, a manual collection will be used at the toll booths, while arrangements are being made for an electronic access control.
The university authorities said only employees of the institutions and their dependants using vehicles registered with the university would be exempted from paying the charges.
Meanwhile, the Chairman of the Parliamentary Select Committee on Subsidiary Legislations, Mr O. B. Amoah, has described the action of the university authorities as illegal, since the university had not received parliamentary approval to introduce such charges, reports Mabel Aku Baneseh.
He said Parliament had not received any bill seeking to introduce road tolls at the university and further indicated that the legislature was currently on recess and would resume on January 28, 2014.
“They can, therefore, not start on February 1, 2014 as they intend to do,” Mr Amoah added.
He further indicated that it was the responsibility of the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning (MoFEP), which had the mandate to send rates, fees and charges to Parliament on behalf of government agencies to do so.