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NDEA report gives startling revelations about UTG VC

Apr 26, 2012, 2:25 PM | Article By: Bakary Samateh

A report by the National Drug Enforcement Agency (NDEA) which was tendered before the Banjul Magistrates’ Court as a defence exhibit in the ongoing false information trial against Dr Gumbo Ali Touray, Director of International Affair at the University of The Gambia, UTG, has made startling revelations against UTG Vice Chancellor Professor Muhammed Kah.

According to the NDEA investigation report, which was tendered in court, Professor Kah is currently receiving a salary of about D3.5million per annum, as well as receiving USD10,000 as annual house rent, even though he lives in his own house.

The report revealed that he also gets about D42,000 every three months for his children’s school fees, utilities, and towards wages for his maid and security, which was deemed “outrageous for a developing university to sustain”.

This report was tendered in court as a defence exhibit, during the cross- examination of the seventh prosecution witness, Dr. Abubaccar Senghore.

The NDEA investigation report further revealed that, as a Gambian Vice Chancellor, he lacks a sense of sacrifice and patriotism, and that it was not clear where the huge allowances and salaries were approved from or who authorized them.

The report added that Professor Kah’s letter of appointment indicated that his terms and condition of employment shall be the same as his predecessor, Prof Stigen, who was receiving USD 53,000.00 per annum at USD 4,450.00 per month.

The report further revealed that a Ghanaian national, Kwadwo (Kojo) Ofosuhene was appointed to the position of director of finance at the UTG through a mere telephone interview by certain members of the UTG governingcouncil, which included Bai Matarr Drammeh, Mr Babucarr Bouy ( MOBSE) Dr. Omar Jah (DVC adminand finance) and Mr. Muhammed Jammeh (a faculty member).

The NDEA report further stated that even though there were many Gambians who are more qualified for the position than the Ghanaian, as he possesses only a Masters degree in business administration (MBA) whereas a Gambian with ACCA or some higher levels would have been more suitable.

It was also revealed in the report that most of the people who interviewed Kojo were only mandated to ascertain the academic credentials of the candidate, and not to discuss the salary, thus have no idea as how much he receives as salary and other benefits.

The report further highlighted that none of the UTG governing council members could tell whether they saw Mr. Kojo’s position advertised locally or internationally. So there was no evidence that the position was advertised or evidence that qualified Gambian professionals were interviewed for the position.

It was also part of the report that most of the appointments of various individuals into the senior cadre of the UTG (academic and admin), were single-handedly done by Professor Kah, without going by prescribed standards, and that most of the beneficiaries of such appointment are either his friends or relatives.

It was also confirmed in the report that Prof Kah had constructed a college located at Bijilo, which was almost ready for use. This building was decorated with the same colour paint used on the fence of the UTG Kanifing campus, according to the report.

The report noted that UTG was granted a loan of D8 millionby Trust Bank to facilitate payment for the purchase of a house at the AU Villa in Brufut, and this loan attracts interest of 18%.

The report further indicated that the UTG research and strategy committee lost its prized position of membership in the ERNWACA group’s research initiative (receiving of notices and calls for new research proposals and bids) and also the same for the lecturers who had demonstrated a commendable tract record of publishable (CODESRIA) ACTIONAID, ETC) academic research expertise in the past, had their planned research teaching courses arbitrarily cancelled by the Vice-Chancellor, without even the courtesy of consultations or explanation.

According to the report, it has been revealed that the National Assembly Select Committee on Education paid a visit to the University of the Gambia, following an elaborate report presented to the Assembly by Prof. Kah.

However, to their dismay, what was presented to the Assembly and what prevails on the ground were far from matching.

The same report indicated that during the visit of the NAMs, Alh. Gumbo Touray frankly expressed his disapproval of the way the University was governed, which certainly did not go down well with the VC and he, consequently, decided to suspend him, as in his words “based on powers conferred on him”.

However, the report stated, the VC was not able to produce any investigation report on the issue of Mr. Touray, even though he had claimed to institute an investigation on the matter.

“What was confirmed was that the VC went ahead to terminate the services of Mr Touray unilaterally.”

“It has been confirmed that Gumbo Touray was officially granted leave by the Directorate of Human Resources of the University of the Gambia in accordance with the set rules and procedures contrary to the VC’s claims that Mr Touray took an unauthorized leave.

It was also highlighted in the report that the UTG was without a laboratory for all the science courses offered by the UTG, as the present laboratories in use are meant to train teachers and are not the same as a university lab.