Offers Friend Top University Job
The Vice Chancellor of the University of the Cape Coast (UCC), Prof. Ghartey Ampiah, is being accused of using his position to favour his friend, to the disadvantage of two others, who applied for the same job at the University.
The alleged friend, Philip Ntim Owusu, now director of the Directorate of Physical Development and Estate Management, is alleged to have used his links with Prof. Ampiah, to select him as the preferred applicant after an interview session.
Since his engagement, Philip Ntim Owusu, is accused of being on a victimization spree, frustrating contractors working for the university with the claim that, they did not win the contracts fairly and also that the contractors, had inflated the prices of the projects to fleece the university.
He is said to have applied for the vacant space, while domiciled abroad, but through not so transparent process, he allegedly managed to get selected.
The now director The Herald is informed, arranged to have his interview through Skype. There are also doubts about Philip Ntim Owusu’s qualifications as surveyor.
He is not a member of the Ghana Institute of Surveyors. He claims to be a member of the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) of UK, however, The Herald’s information is that, his status had expired at the time of his interview and the panel of interviewers, failed to do due diligence on his qualification claims.
Mr Ntim Owusu’s other contenders who attended the interview in person, were relegated to the background with the former coming up as the favoured.
Eyebrows have been raised and questions are being asked, as to how a man domiciled in the United Kingdom (UK) could sail through, if not for his friendship with Prof. Ampiah.
Mr Ntim Owusu, is alleged to have been selected, because the Vice Chancellor, wanted someone who could do his bidding. He is said to be having frosty working relationship with contractors working under him at the University.
The contractors, who were contracted during the previous Vice Chancellor administration, are finding it difficult, working under the new director of the Physical Development and Estate Management, who is accusing them of paying bribes to the previous VC to secure the contracts and also inflating contract sums, as kickbacks to the former VC.
His false claims, has led to delays in paying contractors working on various projects for the state owned university. The projects, The Herald learnt were being executed with loans contracted from banks at huge interest, hence the refusal of the university authorities to pay them, is making life uncomfortable for them.
But Mr Ntim Owusu, has rubbished claim that he secured the top job, because of his association with the Vice Chancellor, saying he has no such relationship with the current VC, as alleged.
He said “The vice chancellor, the first time I met him, it was about this job, before then, I didn’t know even his name, I had never met him before”. He ordered his accusers “They have to establish the level of friendship, how we became friends. If you are saying someone is someone’s friends, you have to provide background. I am not a friend of the vice chancellor.”
Mr Ntim Owusu said, his accusers have no basis to accuse him of any wrong doing, if they are unable to provide evidence that shows that he is unqualified. “Did they say I am not qualified for the job?” he queried.
On how he was interviewed, he directed that, that question be posed to the University’s office of Public Affairs because, “I saw an advert, I applied for the job, I was interviewed and I got the job. If the person knows of any other criteria for the appointment, I would not know.
If anyone has problem the way I was interviewed, they should speak with the university’s public relations officer, because the university set the criteria and the mode of interview, I didn’t”.
He also debunked claim that contractors working under him, were displeased with his directorship.
According to him, it is normal for people to always feel uneasy with a new administration, because there is always the likelihood that there is going to be changes, all aimed at achieving results.
He insisted there is no such thing as frosty relationship, and challenged this paper to make the effort and speak with the workers for their side of the claim.
“If they are not comfortable, what’s the reason because; it’s not everybody that will be comfortable when you assume a new position. Because, if they don’t buy into the way you want to work and it’s not like when you take a job, you are going to do it the same way everybody was doing it, if so, then you won’t make the difference”, Mr Ntim Owusu said.
He continued “Everybody has a way of working, some people will be comfortable, others will not. But we are all not comfortable with everything at the same time but, we try to work to achieve results. And for me, I tell people I work with; my objective is that we have to achieve results”.
In an interview with the Governing Council Chairperson, Nancy Thompson, she said she was unable to respond to the claims surrounding the employment of Mr Ntim Owusu, because she is not part of the day-to- day administration of the University.
According Madam Thompson, she might have come into contact with the director but it happened only once when she wanted accommodation when she attended one of their quarterly meetings as chairperson of the Council.
I haven’t worked with him personally. My work is more of a chairman of a board I’m not involved in the day-to-day running of the university. I have just met him casually. I am actually not employed by the university.
I have no idea about that. If he’s standing in front of me without his name, I wouldn’t know who he is. If I met him, it is possibly once, in connection with accommodation need, when I come for meetings and I normally just come for meetings.
Madam Thompson, who said she was appointed last year July, said she would be lying if she claimed she knew the director because “When he’s standing in front of me without being told that this is the man, I wouldn’t know who he is.
I might have met him once as I said with my accommodation but that was a casual meeting once I don’t think I can make him out when I meet him next time possibly after two or three meetings, I may know him but this was a brief meeting finding out what he’s doing about accommodation for me”.
“I know I met someone, the pro-vice chancellor called the estate development officer, whether he is the overall boss or what, I don’t remember and as for the name, it didn’t register. Honestly, I don’t even know who you are talking about”, she concluded.
Meanwhile, several attempts to speak to the Vice Chancellor, Prof. Ghartey Ampiah, was unsuccessful as several calls to his MTN number, were not responded to.
However, after a test message was sent to him, he replied the following saying he could not speak to this paper. He wrote “Thank you. Please talk to the PRO of the University or the Registrar. They speak for the University”.
There are claims that the Bureau of National Investigations (BNI) is aware of the matter and has started nosing into it.
Indeed, Mr Ntim Owusu, is said to have spent some time at the offices of the BNI, responding to some questions in the matter recently.
More to come!