A professor at the University of Ghana says government citing misappropriation of funds as one of its reasons for introducing the Public University Bill is ridiculous.
According to Prof. Akosua Adomako Ampofo, the universities have well regulated systems which help them manage their funds better than many of the public institutions.
“We can count the number of financial scandals in our Universities history of 60 or so years on one or two hands. But take our own ministries, who should oversee us, year after year we listen to the Auditor General, and you see the financial scandals that are there,” she said on Newsfile on Saturday.
The Professor of African Studies & Acting Dean of International Programmes at the University of Ghana, Legon, stated that the universities have employed onerous governance structures.
She told Samson Lardy Anyenini, host of the show that, these layers of structures have ensured that they have weathered many storms very efficiently.
Institutions like the National Council for Tertiary Education (NCTE), the Ministry of Finance, the Auditor General and the Criminal Code are all available to see the universities stay in check when it comes to their financial duties, Prof Adomako Ampofo said.
She explained that if there are problems with accountability and these regulators are not seeking to straighten them, then a bill will not solve that problem.
“The bill (Public University Bill) seeks to fix something that is not broken, it will introduce a whole new set of problems we (universities) are currently not grappling with. To suggest the universities, have had more financial scandals than other public institutions with all due respect is ridiculous,” she added.
Some academics have mounted strong opposition to government’s Public University Bill.
According to government, the bill seeks to harmonise the governance, administration, and accountability structures of public universities.
Prof Amofo stated that universities’ rejection of the bill has not been to run away from being financially accountable but they want to remain politically independent.
She said government’s interference will not only affect the affairs of the universities but their relationship with their foreign sponsors and partners.
“So this is unnecessary and indeed for most of our older public universities, this accusation of financial malfeasance is unfounded,” Prof Ampofo added.