The University of Ghana SRC has asserted that students are in no position to pay utility bills. The President of the SRC, Esinam Afi Seade , made this known at a press conference on Tuesday, 28th June 2016, in the SRC Union Building, Legon campus. This comes on the heels of a proposal by the University management to bill students for utilities effective 2016/2017 academic year.
She stated that “the university Management believes that government has developed cold feet with regards to the payment of utility bills which could compel them to push forward the burden to students following the directive from the Ministry of Finance (MOF) to the utility companies notably the Electricity Company of Ghana and the Ghana Water Company Limited that public tertiary institutions are responsible for the payment of utility bills from January 2014.”
According to her, the University had planned to include utility charges in the fees of students in the 2015/2016 academic year but an intervention by government through a letter from the Ministry of Education led to the reversal of that decision. “Per the letter, all educational and health institutions were mandated to be exempted from the ongoing disconnection exercise…the ministry also reiterated that Government had not taken any decision for students in some Public Tertiary Institutions to pay utility bills for that academic year.”
But “following the inaction [inability] of government to make payment for the utility charges as promised”, the SRC “has taken notice of the decision of the University management to bill students for utilities for the 2016/2017 academic year…” pegged at GHC 2326.00 and GHC 922.00 for residential and non-residential students respectively in order to forestall any disconnection.
The SRC therefore appealed to government to intervene and ensure that students are not charged. They also called on “parents, civil society and the general public to solidarize with the University of Ghana SRC to vehemently avert these unwarranted charges on students.”
Meanwhile all students have been called upon “to remain calm as the SRC will not succumb to any policy decision at the detriment of students’ welfare.”