Supporters of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) who were transported to Somanya in the Eastern Region to welcome President John Mahama at a ceremony to cut the sod for the construction of the University of Environment and Sustainable Development wept uncontrollably.
The aggrieved supporters wailed uncontrollably after the president arrived at the venue and started exchanging pleasantries with the guests.
The outgoing President, who suffered an embarrassing defeat in the just-ended general elections, on Thursday cut sod for the construction of the Eastern University, which was one of his key promises to the people of the Eastern region during the 2012 electioneering campaign.
The President was hopeful of completing the University in his next term in office but lost to Nana Akufo-Addo of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) in the December polls.
Speaking at the ceremony, President Mahama showered praises on “all those whose efforts and dedication helped move the project from the phase of conception to the present phase of construction.”
According to him, the National TaskForce was inaugurated in April 2013 to develop, organize and supervise the establishment of the university that would focus on addressing challenges facing Ghana.
Parliament in this year October approved a £45 million commercial agreement between government and Contrzione Italia for the project despite the Minority’s opposition.
The Minority raised issues about some aspects of the agreement, including the construction of a Vice Chancellor’s residence allegedly worth over £1 million.
Speaking on the floor of Parliament after the approval of the agreement, the Deputy Minority Spokesperson on Education, and Member of Parliament for Asene-Manso-Akroso, Yaw Owusu Boateng, said the Minority found out that some of the cost were too high and therefore requested for a value of money audit to be done.
The New Patriotic Party (NPP) Member of Parliament for Ayawaso West Wuogon, Emmanuel Kyeremanteng Agyarko, also described the loan agreement approved by the government as “daylight robbery.”
Hon Agyarko said that “I am scandalised by the daylight robbery this government seeks to perpetrate on the Republic in their attempt to put up infrastructure for the university.”
“The cost of providing three residential accommodation for the principal officers of the university according to the attachments cost about €1.7 million each. That works out about $2 million or GH¢8 million so for the three buildings it is $6 million or GH¢24 million.”
FROM Daniel Bampoe, Somanya