Government has began processes for the payment of book and research allowances for members of the University Teachers Association of Ghana (UTAG).
Payment of book and research allowance underway
UTAG had earlier this week given government up to Friday, October 23, to release their book and research allowance.
Deputy Minister of Education in charge of tertiary, Samuel Okudjeto Ablakwa, said payment of stalled arrear is underway following the release of funds by government.
This follows a threat by UTAG members to strike over their unpaid allowances.
Speaking on Citi FM’s Eyewitness News, Mr. Okudjeto Ablakwa said some lecturers had already received their allowance.
“The latest is that the cheques are now ready at the National Council for Tertiary Education; and the council has informed me that they have communicated with authorities at the universities and the polytechnics and that the finance officers can now pick their cheques. In addition, I do know that a number of institutions have already picked their cheques and so we are now paying the allowance. I know that not all lecturers have received it as at now, but the process is ongoing, so I want to ensure the university and polytechnic community that we have largely addressed the issue. We are making sure that we do not have any distraction in the academic calendar and so we are committed to that “he stated.
"The process is a very detailed one because we want to be sure of lecturers who are still in active service and in good standing so the lecturers’ list is audited. After that, it is submitted to the ministry through the NCTE, and then we submit it to Finance before we know the total number of lecturers entitled to the allowance. The Ministry of Finance then issues the warrant for the Controller and the Bank of Ghana to write the cheque, before it is forwarded to the Ministry of Education. We then send it to the NCTE; from where it is forwarded to the institutions for payment to be done; and so that is how the cycle is. It is paid once at the end of every academic year".
He noted that the old system is ineffective therefore government is committed to setting up the National Research Fund to replace the old system.
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