Regional News of Tuesday, 25 March 2014


Legon road closure: MPs divided over moves to amend UG Act

Members of Parliament (MPs) are divided over the filing of a private members motion seeking the House to amend Section 3 of the University of Ghana Act.

The motion which was reportedly filed last Friday seeks to have a clause in the Section 3 which empowers the University to restrict the use of its facilities by non-members of the institution removed.

It will also compel the Education Minister to re-introduce the Act in Parliament to enable Legislators debate the possible removal of the clause.

The University of Ghana authorities from March 15 began the implementation of a sticker policy which sought to restrict access into its campus to prevent commuters from using the institution as a thoroughfare.

This policy was met by public outrage while some MPs called for an amendment of sections of the University of Ghana Act stating that the school authorities were abusing its powers.

One of the MPs leading the campaign is the Asawase Legislator, Alhaji Mohammed Mubarak Muntaka who has opined that the sticker policy is a means of extorting money from the public.

The person who filed the motion is expected to appear in Parliament this week to move the motion.

Speaking on an Accra based Joy FM, Ranking Member of the Constitutional, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Committee, Joe Osei-Wusu indicated he is not in favour of the motion because “I don’t see the value in repealing the clause.

This is a knee-jerk reaction or rather, a populist reaction to the situation.” The Bekwai MP insisted that “somebody needs to regulate the use and access of the facilities” and he questioned who will be mandated to regulate the assets of the institution if this power is taken away from the authorities.

Meanwhile, the MP for Ayawaso West Wuogon, Boakye Agyarko, cautioned that a blanket measure should not be used to resolve the problem.

He refuted Alhaji Muntaka’s claims that the closure of the university roads is causing traffic on the main roads around the school.

Mr. Agyarko was of the opinion that if “there is traffic on the main road, then we should find a way of improving that traffic situation…no university anywhere is a thoroughfare.”

“Shall we make Parliament a thoroughfare just because sometimes there is congestion on the road in front of Parliament?” he asked.