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Govt approves 2014/2015 book, research allowance for UTAG, POTAG

BY: Severious Kale Dery
Seth Terkper, Ghana's Finance Minister

The Ministry of Finance has approved the payment of the 2014/2015 book and research allowance to members of the University Teachers Association of Ghana (UTAG) and the Polytechnic Teachers Association of Ghana (POTAG).

The Public Relations Officer of the ministry, Mr Francis Gbadago, who hinted the Daily Graphic in an interview, said the ministry forwarded the letter of approval, which contained the exchange rate, to the Ministry of Education last Tuesday for the payment process to kick-start.

Approval letter

The letter explained that the cedi equivalent of the existing rates should be applied using the Bank of Ghana average exchange rate of GH¢3.5023 to one US dollar.

The letter requested the Auditor-General to audit the claims to enable the ministry to authorise payment.

Submission of claims

Mr Gbadago said when the approval letter got to the ministry, “we immediately forwarded it to the National Council for Tertiary Education (NCTE), which will now request the various tertiary institutions to submit claims of those eligible beneficiaries”.

He said the universities and polytechnics would, in turn, send the audited claims to the NCCE, which would then forward the claims back to the Ministry of Education for vetting before submitting it to the Ministry of Finance for payment.

Various processes

Taking the Daily Graphic through the various procedures, Mr Gbadago said the NCTE would first write to the Ministry of Education that, indeed, the people needed their allowance.

“Then we will forward it to the Ministry of Finance for it to give us the exchange rate for us to furnish the NCTE, which will then request for audited claims from the various tertiary institutions for the payment,” he explained.

“So until the Ministry of Finance approves that the payment processes should go on, such payment will never happen. But for now, we have crossed that bridge,” he told the Daily Graphic.

Appeal

He said significant progress had been made and appealed to UTAG to consider the significant progress so far made by the ministry and call off the strike for the benefit of all Ghanaians.