Iddi Yire, GNA
Accra, Dec. 3, GNA – Dr Matthew Opoku Prempeh, Minister of Education, has cut the sod for the commencement of work on a 10-storey multipurpose twin towers and two students’ hostels at the University of Professional Studies, Accra (UPSA).
The three projects, which are being executed by Top International Engineering Company, are estimated to cost almost GH¢250 million.
The two hostel facilities – one located at the UPSA Hostel premises and the other located just opposite the UPSA, near Ideal College; will each cost GH¢45 million.
The twin towers, which will cost the University GH¢133 million, will have offices, commercial centres, lecture blocks and the UPSA Law Faculty Moot court.
The two hostels will be completed in 15 months; while the twin towers 30 months.
Dr Opoku Prempeh said government was not anti-infrastructural development; stating that “government is actually pro-infrastructural development in our tertiary institutions, but what we insist is the good management and accountability of such projects, transparency and following the procurement processes”.
He said when other tertiary institutions take loans and they default in the payment, and the burden shifts onto the government and government should be reluctant or should be skeptical in its ability to manage such huge complex issues.
He urged other vice chancellors of the nation’s universities to go to the UPSA and the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) to find out from them how they were able to accomplish huge infrastructural projects.
“There is nothing wrong in going to the best to learn. Actually we all have to go to the best to learn. And in these areas, I think, I got my heart for UPSA, for their infrastructure development.”
He said government would continue to ensure infrastructural expansion at the tertiary level to accommodate the large numbers of free SHS graduates.
Dr Kofi Ohene-Konadu, Chairman of the UPSA Governing Council, said these four edifices, which would soon adorn the skies of Legon and Madina environs would stand as a testimony to the sacrifices and pragmatic management of the UPSA Team.
“These projects will enhance teaching and learning, as well as pave way for the University to increase its admission capacity, thereby complement government’s policy in increasing students’ intake for the subsequent years,” he said.
Professor Abednego Okoe Feehi Amartey, Vice Chancellor, UPSA, said the three massive infrastructural projects that the University was embarking upon was part their preparation towards admitting the first and subsequent batches of the products of the free senior high school (SHS).
“We took over (his assumption of office as Vice Chancellor) on 1st January, 2017, incidentally it coincided with the time that there was a new government that had taken over and the mantra of the new government is that there has to be free education for every senior high student of this country,” he said.
“What that means is that in three to four years, if you are a good planner, you are going to have an increase in the number of students who are going to come over.”
He said the free SHS programme coincided with their vision for the University that in four years, they would increase the population of the university from 11,000 students to 15,000.
“Very ambitious, but by the time we finished admission at the beginning of this academic year, we have chalked the 15,000 mark already,” he said.
“Now if your look at the fact that next year, we are going to have the first batch of the free SHS students completing, what that means is that we are going to have more students coming in.”
He expressed gratitude to the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Finance for giving their approval for the projects.
At the event, Mr Boniface Abubakar Siddique, Minister of State at the Office of the Vice President and Member of Parliament for Madina, donated 20 street light bulbs to the UPSA.