The Executive chairman of Radford University College in Accra has warned person claiming that owners of Christian and Private Universities are motivated by profit to establish universities.

Nana Kwabena Dwomoh Sarpong said all those with such perception should stay off Christian and private universities, as they are rather doing the nation good. “If those operating Christian and private universities were interested in profit-making ventures, they would have gone into buying and selling which is now booming in the country, ” he said. He said: “it’s unfortunate churches and private persons with the interest of helping in the training of the country’s human resource base are being treated in this manner.”

Mr. Sarpong, who was speaking in an interview with The Enquirer yesterday, said that what was intriguing was the fact that those who were holding that perception were the very persons who should have known better. “It is clear that some of the Christians and private Universities are in huge debt because they are not breaking even and running deficit kind of game,” he said. Nana Dwomoh said that interests that are paid on loans alone were just too much for the Christian and private universities. “The question that those making such sweeping claims should answer is that if there is profit in running private universities, why foreign investors are not coming in to establish universities?” He contended. He said: “If anything at all those churches and private business people with universities should be applauded instead of people who ought to know better thinking they are making money.” “I have had the opportunity of serving on a board of a Christian University and there were times that we had to struggle to get money to effect certain payments,” he said. “The debate about the importance of Christian and private universities should end immediately because the importance of those universities cannot be overemphasized,” he said. Nana Dwomoh told The Enquirer that apart from the Christian and private universities helping to absorb students for university education, they attract foreign students who bring foreign exchange into the country.

“It depresses us when instead of getting a pat on our backs for investing in an area where many will not venture, people are just making mental calculation about things that do not exist in the reality,” he said. “When I am expecting those making the frivolous point about Christian and private universities to do is to push the government to grant some tax holidays to private and Christian tertiary institutions,” he added. Nana Dwomoh told The Enquirer if care is not taken some of the Christian and private universities would be tempted to venture into other areas with their money. “What that will mean is that some persons will not have the chance to have university education and that will not have the chance to have university education and that will not be better for the country,” he said. He said that an avenue should be created for the government and those with the profit making perception to have a real feel of what the Christian and private universities are going through.

Businesssman Urges Gov’t

Until government appoints technocrats and experts to various Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies, the citizenry would not have interest in Assembly elections. According to Nana Kwabena Dwomoh Sarpong, the apathy being displayed by the electorate was because they do not see persons with technical knowhow and expertise in various assemblies. “Government should change the face of local governance by appointing persons who can help in shaping affairs. If an expert sees his colleague contesting to become an Assembly Member could be guaranteed,” he said. He added that there should be a well-calculated move people to serve as Assembly Members.

Nana Dwomoh, an accomplished businessman, told The Enquirer, in an interview yesterday that until certain measures are put in place the apathy towards local assembly elections will remain. “As it stands now, chief executives of various assemblies would continue to have a field day as there are no experts to challenge their actions and inactions.” He said. He noted; “As it stands people are just interested in the title ‘Honorable’ instead of being at the assembly to help in the development of their respective areas.”

Nana Sarpong told The Enqiurer that the local assembly concept was a very laudable concept but things are not being done to generate competition and keen interest. “Somebody comes to knock at your door and tells you that vote for him or her as an Assembly Member, you will never take that person seriously,” he said. He said: “The contestants should be able to tell the electorate about their expertise and how they would help the areas to develop.” “As it stands now anybody can become an Assembly Member, when elsewhere the local level participation is serious business for serious-minded persons,” he contended. Nana Sarpong told The Enquirer that the appointment by government should be looked into properly as it appears persons who are appointed were not serious with how things are done. Until serious hands are seen at various assemblies, elections to have member would not generate the much needed interest, he pointed out.