Minister cuts sod for commencement of major construction projects at UPSA

By
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.

GNA

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