After bowing to pressures to stop charging road tolls, the University of Ghana has decided to restrict movements to the university premises.
Authorities of the University of Ghana, Friday, suspended collection of tolls from motorists, who ply their roads. This follows a directive from government and a promise to pay an amount of $2.3 million the university had contracted for infrastructural projects.
Vice Chancellor of the University of Ghana, Prof. Ernest Aryeetey told Journalists the university will comply with government’s directive to suspend the collection of road tolls but with some clear conditions and expectations.
The institution expects the government to pay in full the loan facility as soon as possible, and allocate regular budget for the maintenance of its roads, he noted.
“And also the expectation that the University of Ghana will make suitable arrangements for protecting it assets, which means in this instance, only the road coming from the stadium entrance to the university will be available to the general public.
“All other roads coming to the university will require permission for use. The arrangements providing permission for use would be communicated later,” Prof. Ernest Aryeetey declared.
He, however, insisted, “the decision to toll the roads or not to toll the roads is one that is reserved for the University of Ghana council”.
The Vice Chancellor acknowledged the “tension and misrepresentation” following the controversial levying of motorists, who ply the university roads, which he said was skewed to make the university “look worse than it should be looked at”.
The university council in arriving at the decision to suspend the roads tolls, “weighed various options”, he said.
Prof. Aryeetey further noted that “it is mindful of its responsibility to the people of Ghana to obey directives from government. It is also mindful of its responsibility to manage this university in the best possible way to ensure that the University is able to achieve its highest potential.”
Yesterday, the academic board of the university directed the governing council to take legal action against the national security coordinator, Col.
Larry Gbevlo-Lartey (retired), who had earlier this week led his men to demolish the toll booth at the Okponglo end of the university.
Speaking to the issue of the demolition, Prof. Aryeetey noted, “the council took the view that it was not in the position to advise the academic board, and there was no need for it. So academic board documents are academic board documents, the council does not interfere with them.”
Meanwhile, speaking on Joy FM’s Top Story, Lawyer Egbert Fabille Jnr., who is in court representing two students of the University of Ghana challenging the tolling of the university roads, doubted the feasibility of the decision of the university authorities to restrict movements to its campus.
He explained that alumni and retired employees of the university are considered as members of the university by the act, which established the institution and since these people have the right to enter the university for “lawful purposes”, it would be difficult to identify persons, who are not members.
Egbert Fabille also noted that the decision by the school to suspend collection of the road toll would not affect the case in court.
“A suspension does not mean an end”, he cautioned, adding that the possibility to rescind its decision if the government fails to fulfill its promise is there.
Source: Ghana | Myjoyonline.com