APPROVED GHS 46,342.00 BUDGET FOR 3-DAY AKWAABA WEEK CELEBRATION; OPEN LETTER TO THE PRESIDENT OF THE UENR SRC
Mr. President, I write as a concerned student of the University of Energy and Natural Resources to express my candid opinion on the GHS 46,342.00 budget presented by the Executive Council as you head to the 9th SRC Parliamentary Council to approve the budget for this year’s Akwaaba Week Celebration at their 1st sitting of the semester.
Mr. President, I will not on any day condemn the relevance of activities like these in our annual academic year calendar. They are a way of ushering freshmen into the university community in a more thrilling and entertaining style that remains memorable.
My displeasure is with the extravagance and insensitivity of the budget, which comes with rippling effects and must therefore be reconsidered.
From my observation of the sitting, the words of the defendants of the document – SRC Financial Secretary, Organizing Secretary, and Entertainment Committee Head) had difficulty coming up with the specific details of each item in the budget. For example, GHS 2000.00 is quoted as an honorarium to facilitators when the exact resource person is unknown to the organizers. It was only after interrogation by some MPs that a revelation that the quantified amount covers the flight and accommodation expenses of the “ghost” facilitators was made.
Mr. President, even in the presence of a COVID-19 pandemic, the budget presented by the erstwhile Wiafe-Berko Tawiah administration for a 6-day Akwaaba Week Celebration was some GHS 29,000+, after which an allocation of GHS 17,000+ was made. I fail to understand why an amount of GHS 49,000.00 is being demanded to facilitate the organization of a 3-day event with the relatively high low number of freshmen who are direct beneficiaries of the activities. It is highly insensitive to have nearly three times (×3) amount being requested. One does not need a Ph.D. in economics to understand this.
Mr. President, in a rather sarcastic way, “Seesaw” and “Face Painting” are captured as one of the activities for Thursday’s “Summertan Rave”. I did not have any qualms with that but we believe strongly that if a representative survey were to conduct today amongst ladies who we are told are the target of these items (as mentioned by the Entertainment Committee Head) would opt for a better alternative.
Mr. President, a GHS 16,500.00 allocation just for “Open Mic” must be seriously reconsidered, especially when no major artist is to be billed to perform. From consultation, GHS 5500.00, GHS 3500.00, GHS 3000.00, and GHS 4000.00 allocations for the sound system, stage, lighting, and band, respectively, are very outrageous and must therefore be reconsidered.
Sir, remember that as an administration, one of the things you shouldn’t take lightly is protecting our purse as an SRC. The plights faced by today’s UENR students are so voluminous as to be overlooked for the cost-intensive Akwaaba Week Celebration 2022, which comes with an unclear and unrepresentative budget estimate. I WILL BE A CITIZEN, NOT A SPECTATOR.
BSC NATURAL RESOURCES, LEVEL 400