A former student leader and now Deputy Minister of Education in charge of Tertiary, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, has endorsed calls for tertiary students to bear the cost of utility, saying that is “the way to go”.
The Deputy Minister and incumbent MP for North Tongu maintained that government has not taken any firm decision on the proposal for tertiary students to pay their own utility bills.
This comes on the back of concerns raised by tertiary students who say they will resist moves by government to make them pay.
The Minister of Power, Dr Kwabena Donkor, has waded into the debate saying students should be made to pay.
He also stated that health facilities which have access to internally generated funds should be able to pay for their own utility bills.
Speaking on Metro TV’s Good Morning Ghana, Mr. Ablakwa said although government has not come to any firm conclusion yet, he agrees with the power minister’s position on the matter.
“70% of students now are in private hostel, and they are paying. And then 30% are in the traditional halls of residence all on the same compound, and they are not paying. It is not fair; so all of us agreed to an arrangement where government pays for just the critical academic facilities. But government has not taken a position on this yet; it remains a proposal, and that’s why I am saying that the Power Minister is in good company. Some of us agree he makes a lot of sense in that argument. At our UPSA meeting where we issued a UPSA declaration, we also made the same argument, and we think that is the way to go,” he noted.
Several tertiary institutions and health facilities owe the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) millions of cedis due to government’s inability to promptly pay for the services rendered.
Recently, ECG was forced to disconnect power to some schools and public facilities in an attempt to retrieve their monies.