- The Education Minister says University of Ghana risks losing its assets over debt
- Dr Mathew Opoku Prempeh says the University borrowed $68m but cannot account for it
The Minister of Education, Dr Mathew Opoku Prempeh has disclosed that the University of Ghana is likely to lose some assets if the institution fails to pay back a $64 million loan.
According to the Education Minister, the University is expected to pay back $10 million a year over a period of 25 years for a principal of $64 million to Africa Integras, a US-based private firm.
Speaking on Peace FM on Monday, the Minister revealed that the University borrowed some $64 million to construct faculty offices on campus but the money cannot be accounted for while the project has stalled.
The Manhyia North MP in his radio interaction, stated that the amount was borrowed about two or three years ago, but the university council has described the ($64m) loan as the worst contract the institution had gone for and they did not even inform government before going for the loan.
“UG needs to pay 10million dollars a year for 25 years and by the time they redeem themselves, they would have paid 250million. If they are not able to pay, their assets will be confiscated,” the minister said.
Reports say the University, back in 2015, entered into a Public Private Partnership (PPP), agreement with Africa Integras to invest the money into the construction of 1,000 student’s hostel for undergraduate and post-graduate students on campus.
As part of the agreement, the project was structured as a 25-year Build, Operate and Transfer (BOT) contract between the University and the foreign partners.
The agreement was signed by the then Vice-Chancellor of the University, Professor Ernest Aryeetey, and Ms Andrea Pizziconi, Managing Partner at Africa Integras, on behalf of her company.
Meanwhile, the National President of the University Teachers Association of Ghana (UTAG), Dr. Harry Agbanu, has described as unfortunate, the decision by the Education Minister to publicly discuss a matter that university authorities are trying to resolve.
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