The Local Chapter of the University Teachers Association of Ghana (UTAG), and the Ghana Association of University Administrators (GAUA) of the University of Energy And Natural Resources, Sunyani, in the Bono Region have jointly petitioned the Minister for Education to, as a matter of urgency, cause the dissolution of the current University’s Governing Council which, they claim, has woefully failed on their mandate.
In a joint Petition, the two stakeholder associations alleged that the Council under the leadership of Professor Ambrose Kwame Tuah has not been able to finalize and promulgated the Statutes of the University which it inherited from the previous Council.
They indicated that the inability of the Council to finalize the reviewed Statutes which was drafted in 2013/2014 was attributed to the actions and inactions of the Council Chairman, Professor Ambrose Kwame Tuah.
The Associations lamented the unavailability of working Statutes for the University and alleged it has contributed to the situation where arbitrary decisions have been taken which negatively impugned on the progress of work of the University.
According to them, the Professor Ambrose Kwame Tuah-led Council which was constituted by the President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo two years ago, to provide oversight responsibility of Management of the University, has done little to help the University grow.
UTAG and GAUA of the University also alleged that the Council Chairman, Professor Ambrose Kwame Tuah, had thwarted all efforts to discuss and promulgate the Statues without any justification, and has since confidently set up a 5-member committee on basis that the initial committee with representation from staff associations set up by the Vice Chancellor was illegal.
The 5-member committee he set up, according to the Associations went on a retreat on January 9, to 10, 2019 to “harmonize, synchronize and synthesize” the already drafted Statutes which is only awaiting deliberations by the Council for approval and promulgation, with members taking home fat per diems to the tune of One Hundred Thousand Ghana Cedis.
“The Council Chairman appears to take biased and counter-productive deliberations at Council meetings which is inimical to the conduct of Council Business. The actions and inactions of the Chairman have also demonstrated that he is constrained in his capacity to steer the affairs of the Council and the University,” they noted.
The Associations also intimated that the Council for the past 2 years has dissipated the funds of the University on various meetings during which no concrete decisions were taken.
They said, Council meetings have become avenues for members to draw siting allowances without any meaningful business conducted whilst the meetings have been bedeviled by petty-“mindedness mostly fueled by the Chairman.”
The attitude of the Council, where various committees are set up which reports are to be considered and implemented, have rather contributed to dissipating the meagre funds of the University, they said, stressing that “resources have been lost through monetary payments to the Council members and committees set by the University through sitting allowances, hotel bills, fuel allowances, per diems etc.”
They stated: “We have observed with so much worry and disappointment the relationship between the Council Chairman and the Vice Chancellor. The strained relationship is mostly informed by the fact that the Council Chairman does not have a good rapport with the Vice Chancellor. The Council Chairman has allowed the petty-picking to negatively affect any business in which the Vice Chancellor is part. This worrying development has negatively affected the work of Management in the day to day management of the University.”
The Associations however stated that the Council, led by Professor Ambrose Kwame Tuah cannot effectively steer the affairs of the University as stipulated in Act 830 and that the University is struggling to access finances from government to fix the huge infrastructure challenges coupled with the inability of the Council to take simple but relevant decisions to better position the University to growth and development, are breaking the backs of the University.
They said universities are agitating to withdraw essential services if some constructive interventions are not immediately professed, and as executives of their associations, acting as major stakeholders of the University, have “in the spirit and dedication to the national interest quelled agitations of our members but can no longer restrain them,” and appealed to government to come to the aid of the University in the areas of finance, infrastructure and human resources.
They stated that a more representative committee that included all stakeholders of the University had already been set up by the Vice Chancellor which had presented its final report that was only awaiting deliberations and promulgation and that there is no way they will accept any recommendations from the supposed Committee set up by the Chairman and his failed Council.