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The white Elephant at the University of Ghana

The university of Ghana, Legon

The University of Ghana (UG) is the nation’s premier university and enviably one of the three Universities that was established in British West Africa in 1948. Formerly, UG was called the University College of the Gold Coast an affiliate college of the University of London which supervised its academic programmes and awarded degrees. The University was fully fleshed in 1961 and can currently boast of about 40,000 students. It is recalled that some few years ago, power crises bedevilled Ghana. The incessant power fluctuations dubbed ­“Dumsor” literary translated as “light off and on” was a destructive daily occurrence thus subject to national discussions on several fronts. Dumsor under the administration of then President John Dramani Mahama was wild not to suggest that Ghana had not experienced power crises in some administration past. The concern is predominantly on the recurrence and frequency of it during the Mahama led administration. In this regard, government sort to enrol several initiatives and mechanisms in a bid to address this rather unfortunate issue especially on the student front but could not stand the test of time. As if to test whether there existed another magic to solving the issue of power crises then came into the picture Joshua Dogbe. The University of Ghana Students Representative Council (SRC) under the leadership of Joshua Dogbe (SRC president) in 2014 came out with plans of acquiring some generator plants to curtail the issue at hand. Fortunately, this did happen. But the big question left unanswered is whether these plants are utilized after its procurement in 2014­? This big question begging for relevant answers is the drive for this piece christened “The White Elephant at the University of Ghana”.

In fact, without electricity life on the campus of UG is close to impossible. This is really a factual statement. Almost every activity here at the University of Ghana from dawn to dusk require you make do of electricity. Students need electricity to cook, iron, study, power on electronic gadgets among others. In the absence of electricity, realization of these activities are practically impossible which ultimately affects performance not to even make mention of the several challenges it affords lecturers during their delivery process as well.

At present, the university has five traditional halls which house her students. They are the Commonwealth hall, Volta hall, Legon hall, Akuafo hall and Mensah Sarbah hall. It is worthy to note that these halls have about 4 annexes safe Volta and commonwealth Hall. Aside the traditional halls exist other hostel facilities off the shores of the main campus at a designation known as the Diaspora. Interestingly, these plants were procured for all the traditional halls on campus as well as the halls at the diaspora. 

At the moment, these plants play no role rather than acting as matter. In fact, they might have assumed another role by housing rats, mice, lizards, and snakes or perhaps, they play the role of semi gods and are worshiped. At this point, I am tickled to inquire. What is management doing about it? Is the Dean of students and the SRC having no clues to the answers? Who is in charge? Who do I direct my questions to?

Students who were then residing on main campus and at the diaspora were bailed in order to pay for the plants. As if that was not enough, student residents at diaspora were further charged GHC 100 as fees for purchasing fuel. This could not have been the case on the main campus because students vehemently opposed it. Whether the opposition to the fuel fee was worth it is not my focus presently. My point is to know what exactly the GHC100 was used for.

The vice President of the Students Representative Council (SRC) Mr. Adom Anokwah in an exclusive interview on Campux Exclusive while speaking to host Manuel Koranteng on Radio Univers 105.7 pointed out that he is clueless about the issues of the plant. That was rather surprising and unexpected.

Never during my current 3 years stay and over on the UG main campus have I heard the cry of the plant. Our dear folks at the diaspora are glad when there is blackout whereas the opposite is true for residents of main campus because they are able to use theirs. Incidences of blackout becomes very unbearable when evening dawns. The situation becomes worse when we are expected to prepare for examination or during periods of interim assessment ((IA). The saddest part of it is that some students spend huge amount of money to prepare stew and soup and risk losing them if not transferred to a comrade at the diaspora on time. With the state of the washrooms after a day of light out, the less said the better. The stink from the wash rooms become very awful as there is no water available due to the unavailability of light to pump the required water.

Fascinating enough most lecturers on campus have electricity when the power goes out. Why do they have and students do not? Is it that the University management do not care about the welfare of students? Are not the Lecturers here to serve the interest of the students anymore?

What account is being rendered for the GHc100 that was collected and have since been charged to students? We are creating problems for ourselves because by the time that they will react to this white elephant maintenance cost will also be calling.

My intent is clear and pure but not purported to bring the university into disrepute whatsoever by expressing my opinion through this article but as a YOUNG POSITIVIST and a concerned citizen of Ghana I cannot let this issue die without commenting.

To conclude, I plead with the university management to explain the use of these plants at present and account for the monies collected in that regard for the past three years. This will help brings some assurance to students who are already thinking that they are being exploited. Also, I call on the University Council and extensively the Minister of Education in charge of tertiary education  to speak on this worrisome issue at hand.  We need the plants working now! I hope that I will not be attacked because I have shared my opinion on an issue that is worrying the students’ populace. Long live the University of Ghana! Long live Ghana! Ghana must work again. Ghana will work again. YOUNG POSITIVIST a concerned citizen of Ghana. 


Columnist: Boamah Sampson ( / 0548690091)

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