General News of Wednesday, 8 August 2018
The University of Ghana is said to have lost an arbitration in London in relation to the Africa Integras Project and therefore expected to pay $160 million to Africa Integras as termination costs.
In July 2014, under the leadership of the then Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Ernest Aryeetey, the University of Ghana entered into a contract with Africa Integras, a private investment company with headquarters in New York, to construct five buildings for the university on a Build Operate and Transfer (BOT) basis.
The project was to consist of the construction of an expanded facility for the College of Humanities, a complex for the new College of Education, a new building complex for the College of Basic and Applied Sciences, a complex to house the Institute of Technology and Applied Science and a building for the College of Health Sciences to aid the university in relocating the medical school to the UG campus from its present location in the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital.
The project was structured as a 25-year Build, Operate and Transfer (BOT) contract but when the leadership of the university changed in 2016, the new Vice-Chancellor, Professor Ebenezer Oduro Owusu sanctioned the project, citing issues with viability and favourableness with the project contract.
The $64 million infrastructure project then came to a standstill due to the disagreement between the current Vice-Chancellor (VC) and his predecessor over the viability of the project.
The matter then went for arbitration in London.
UG lose at London Arbitration
Graphic Online has gathered that the Arbitrator in the dispute between the University of Ghana and the project developers in what is generally described as the “Africa Integras project”, made a definitive and binding ruling in London on August 2, 2018.
The ruling is said have dismissed the two claims by the University of Ghana and awarded termination costs of more than $160 million to the project developers.
The Arbitrator is said to have rejected the UG argument that the Concession Agreement signed by the two parties was not enforceable.
The University of Ghana had sought to present the agreement as not being enforceable, claiming that its own procedures followed in preparing the Concession Agreement were flawed and did not follow due process.
The Arbitrator is said to have found nothing wrong with the process followed in preparing the Concession Agreement and concluded the project had been approved by the University Council in July 2014.
The ruling in London delivers a huge image blow to the University of Ghana and possibly a major financial loss to Ghana.