Legislators on the side of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) Members of Parliament (MPs) have rejected a motion moved by Bawku Central MP, Mahama Ayariga, for the suspension of admission fees for the 2020/2021 academic year.
Rainbow Radio’s Parliamentary correspondent Philomina Kuntu Blankson reported that the NPP MPs described the motion as incompetent and an insult to the House.
Mahama Ayariga in his submission noted that the outbreak of the coronavirus disease had made it difficult for parents and students to pay fees for this year.
He, therefore, wanted the intervention to be part of the government’s Covid-19 programmes that are being implemented by the government to mitigate the effect of the pandemic on Ghanaians.
“Mr. Speaker, I beg to move that this House resolves to request the President of the Republic of Ghana to take urgent steps to suspend the payment of admission fees by new entrants into public tertiary institutions and continuing students of those students for the 2020/2021 academic year as part of the national Covid-19 relief programs being implemented by the government.”
“Mr. Speaker, I have gone to great length to set out the items that the cost build-up to the fees that the students are being charged, with the object of point to one thing: that it is perfectly possible within the context of this covid economy for the university to run without taking these fees. The government is already paying the salaries and other emoluments of lecturers of the various tertiary institutions across the country,” he argued.
But Members of the Majority caucus opposed the motion.
Majority Chief Whip, Kwasi Ameyaw-Cheremeh, responding to the motion, described it as flawed and incompetent.
He also asked the Speaker to dismiss it.
Speaker, I have done some good checks and it came out that they don’t have anything as captured by our motion as admission fees. We have academic user fees. Mr. Speaker, I seek your relief that this motion is flawed, incompetent and the honorable member should do the needful and I implore you to dismiss it as such.”
Former Education Minister and member of parliament for Manhyia, Dr. Matthew Opoku Prempeh also described the motion as ‘incompetent saying: “Mr. Speaker, the first line of this motion is leading us to an absurdity. The President has no locus. If not for populism, I’d say that person has dubious intentions…Where does the President come in? How are we going to resolve to request from the President when the power is in this House… This, Mr. Speaker, I beg to move that it should not be allowed, it should not be entertained, it is an insult to this House.”