The Rector of Kumasi Polytechnic, Prof. Nicholas Nsowah Nuamah has expressed worry over students’ refusal to contribute to the payment of accumulated debts the school owes the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG).
According to Prof. Nuamah, several pleas to students to pay at least GHc200 each has proven futile.
‘We tried to arrange with students to at least pay something, but it seems they are still adamant in doing so, they will not barge,’ he said.
A debate over who pays the utility bills of public tertiary institutions is currently waging after electricity supply was cut to some public tertiary institutions for failure to pay bills owed ECG.
The National Union of Ghana Students on Wednesday hit parliament to press home their resolve to resist any attempt by government to shift the bills to students.
The Power Minister, Kwabena Donkor announced that schools should pay their utility bills from their internally generated funds contrary to the position of the Education ministry.
Prof.Nsowah whose school was recently disconnected from the national grid because of a 3million cedi debt expressed fear that the polytechnic will lose out if the bills are not paid.
He indicated that his office had begun talks with the students to help it pay off the debt albeit unsuccessfully.
He explained that the students say they will only pay upon a directive from the government.
The unhappy rector reiterated, ‘We will lose if our electricity is cut, so why do we wait before government issue a directive that students should contribute in paying the bills, when we can at least pay something.”
“We have never charged them for electricity or water bills, and this time that we are in difficulty, they don’t want to contribute, it’s becoming difficult managing this place,” he bemoaned.
Speaking on Ultimate’ Fact File hosted by Julius Caesar Anadem, he disclosed that immediate old students who were asked to deposit some money before collection of certificates have refused to do so.
‘We are asking students who completed two years ago to deposit money before they collect their certificates, because we do not know if the debt accrued will be paid by government now or not. If government pays the debt, we refund the money to you, but if it turns out otherwise, we will use it to offset part of the debts. But they are refusing to pay,’ he complained.
According to him, their internally generated funds are not enough to pay their utility debts.
‘The only place we rent out for public function is the great hall, and the GHC1, 000 we charge is not substantial to pay our debts,’ he indicated.
He said the solution is not that simple as the amount is so huge that government cannot foot the bills alone.