Auditor General goes after lecturers who ‘bolted’ after State funded their education
The Auditor General’s Report of 2019 has revealed that some lecturers of public universities in the country have vacated their positions after receiving sponsorship to further their education.
According to the report, such incidents are among numerous financial irregularities that occurred in institutions including the Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration (GIMPA), Sunyani Technical University, Ho Technical University and the Cape Coast Technical University.
In the case of GIMPA for instance, the report said one Dominic Npoanlari Dagbanja, who was a member of staff was sponsored by the Institute to study Law in Australia and per the rules, he was expected to return to the university after completion of his course but after completing the programme in 2016, he had not returned to the school as of August 2018.
The Auditor General said, by virtue of his failure to return to the school after the course as expected, he must be made to refund the GH¢ 327,800 spent on him by the school.
“The GH¢327,800.24 spent on Mr. Dominic Npoanlari Dagbanja should be recovered from him or his guarantors in the event that the Institute cannot recover it from him; also, members of staff who have completed their courses of study must report to the Institute to serve their bond period or pay the amount expended on them with interest,” the report said.
At the Takoradi Technical University, the report found that three lecturers were paid a total of GH¢ 64,565 as salaries, although they did not deserve it.
The three were said to have received the monies after their study leave with pay had expired and were therefore not to have received salary.
“Two employees of the University, Kusi Ankrah Bonsu (Lecturer) and Foster Adade (Lecturer) who vacated post after their study leave with pay had expired were paid a total amount of GH₵ 63,555.60 from March 2019 to December 2019. We also noted that Mr. Anthony Boateng Addai, a former employee of the University who became separated by way of Study Leave without pay, was paid one month salary of GH₵ 1,010.00 after his separation, bringing unearned salary payments to GH₵ 64,565.60,” the report indicated.
Although Section 5.4 of the Sunyani Technical University sponsorship/scholarship policy provides that applicants who benefit from scholarship, or sponsorship for their studies are to return to serve the Technical University under a bond as specified by the Government of Ghana Scholarship Regulations and Conditions of Service of the Technical University, a number of officers at the Sunyani Technical University failed to return to the school after being sponsored for higher learning.
“In effect, the University has been deprived of the benefit that could have been derived from skills acquired by the beneficiaries,” the Auditor General’s report noted, adding that the failure of the individuals to return to the school has led to a loss of about GH¢431,328.56 to the state and that must be retrieved from them.”
“In reviewing personal files of the sponsored staffs, we noted that the University sponsored Dr Eric Nsiah Gyabaah, a Lecturer at the Accountancy Department to pursue a PhD programme in Business Administration at the Argosy University, Dallas for the period September 1, 2011, to 30 June 2017. We, however, noted that the officer only served the University for two out of the required six years after completing his studies and subsequently, vacated post in July 2019.”
“In another development, Mr Adade Foster, a Lecturer with Department of Accountancy was granted study leave with pay from 18/2/2015- 18/2/2019 to pursue PhD in Business Administration (Accounting Option) at the Cyprus International University, North Cyprus for fours (4) years. He requested for an extension of study leave on 9/September/2019 for one year till December 2020 after returning to work from September 2017 to April 2018. Management did not approve his extension request. He, therefore, vacated post on 18/2/2019.”
“Moreover, Mr Kusi Ankrah Bonsu, a Lecturer with Department of Electrical/Electronic Engineering was granted study leave with pay from September/2016-July/2019 to pursue a three (3) years PhD in Information and Communication Engineering at the Nanjing University of Post and Telecommunication, China. He, however, did not return to serve his bond after the programme.”
“According to the bond agreement, the officers were to serve the University for a period of six and five years respectively after completing the courses or refund all expenses plus interest incurred on their studies. The officers are, therefore, indebted to the University to the tune of GH¢431,328.56 in respect of salaries paid to them throughout the programmes,” excerpts of the report read.