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General News of Wednesday, 21 February 2018


University of Ghana has not treated me fairly – Prof Ernest Aryeetey

Professor Ernest Aryeetey says new managers of the Univeristy of Ghana have been unfair to him play videoProfessor Ernest Aryeetey says new managers of the Univeristy of Ghana have been unfair to him

The immediate Former Vice Chancellor of the University of Ghana, Professor Ernest Aryeetey is saddened by what he describes as a deliberate attempt by the new managers of the institution not to give him a fair hearing as regards some allegations leveled against him.

According to him, there have been several reports by the University on some major projects his administration undertook but unfortunately, his rebuttals have been ignored for reasons best known to the current administration led by Professor Ebenezer Oduro Owusu.

“When I was about to retire, I was looking forward to be able to write my books, do my research, travel around the world… I didn’t think that I would be spending the first year of my retirement fighting to salvage my reputation. I don’t enjoy talking about the University of Ghana like this but I’ve reached the point where it’s my reputation” he said. “Somebody is destroying you and you’re held back in terms of how far you can go to defend yourself. You don’t want to sound negative about the institution that you used to run.”

“People tell me, ‘oh don’t take it personal’. You’re destroying me and you say I shouldn’t take it personal. How else do you take things? I try very hard not to take it personal. The reason I do such interviews [is that] I think it’s important Ghanaians told the truth. If the truth favors me, fine; If it doesn’t…”

In 2015, the University under the leadership of Prof. Aryeetey entered into a Public Private Partnership (PPP) agreement with Africa Integras to invest US$64 million in the construction of 1,000 new students’ hostel beds for undergraduate and post-graduate students on the Legon campus.

The said project was structured as a 25-year Build, Operate and Transfer (BOT) contract. However reports were rife quite recently that the University signed the agreement without doing due diligence.

But Prof. Aryeetey in an interview on ’21 Minutes with KKB’ refuted the claims, requesting that an independent body be set up to investigate all contract and projects during his tenure since new handlers of the institution have crippled every attempt he has made to present the facts of the issue to them.

“I have struggled over the past year to get the University community to get exactly the processes we went through to get the projects in place. Some of my efforts to inform the University through emails, have been made impossible by the university by blocking the email. [My] email to the University community has been blocked so I’ve had to find other ways to get my voice heard. It’s not fair,” he averred.

“A report was written by a committee that was put together by the Vice Chancellor to look at the Africa Integras project. I wrote a rebuttal to the report; University of Ghana wouldn’t even allow academic work to see my comments on the report” said Prof Aryeetey. “The Vice Chancellor made a presentation to the Academic Board based on that report which was largely false. I wrote comments on it. I said, ‘when you’re going to distribute this to the board, add my comments to it’. It wasn’t done. So I’m forced to use public means to get my voice heard. That is not my first choice. My first choice would have been account to a meeting of the University.”

The project was set to include the construction of an expanded facility for the College of Humanities, a new College of Education, a new dedicated facility for the College of Basic and Applied Sciences, and the Institute of Technology and Applied Science, as well as a new facility for the College of Health Sciences, which will be located near the new teaching hospital on campus.

For Prof. Aryeetey, the project was in the interest of the University of Ghana. Without mincing words, he maintained that the contract was subjected to rigorous scrutiny, describing the posture of the institution as unfortunate.

“…the University of Ghana has decided, for whatever reason, to take different position on decisions we took collectively. The University of Ghana and its new management has decided that many of the decisions that we took need to be relooked. That is extremely unfortunate as far as I’m concerned,” he posited.

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