Parliament has approved a $90 million loan facility for the construction of a satellite campus of the University of Environment and Sustainable Development (UESD) at Bunso in the Eastern Region.
However, the approval was tainted with disapprovals from the Minority who felt the decision to locate the campus at Bunso instead of Donkorkrom was not a fair one and contravene Act 898.
Speaker of Parliament, Mike Oquaye was compelled to conduct a head count after Minority Leader, Haruna Iddrisu challenged an earlier voice vote on the approval of the Finance Committee’s report on the loan.
After the headcount, however, 125 MPs voted in favour of the approval of the loan while 75 voted against it, before the loan was eventually approved.
The loan, acquired from the Export and Import Bank of Korea will be used for the construction of a modern university campus whose headquarters is located in Somanya.
The university will offer degree programmes in environmental studies, climate change, urban development, Water Resources Development, Energy Sustainability, Energy Economics and Agriculture.
It is to have four undergraduate Schools – the School of Natural and Environmental Sciences, the School of Sustainable Development, the School of Agriculture and Agriculture Entrepreneurship and the School of the Built Environment.
There will also be one graduate school, comprising three research centres made up of the Centre for Agra Entrepreneurship, the Centre for Agriculture and Bio-Technology and the Centre for Sustainable Resource Development.
Hitherto, the Minority expressed concern about the amount of money to be used for the construction of the facility. They contend the cost is overpriced.
They were baffled that a satellite campus costs twice as much money that was used in the construction of the main campus and wanted it reversed.
Member of Parliament for North Tongu, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa also felt that government was being discriminatory against the people of Donkorkrom, where the previous government had planned for the satellite campus to be constructed.