Authorities of Ho Polytechnic Thursday called a truce between some state agencies and owners of student hostels to avert the withdrawal of their services to the students.
The state agencies including the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA, the Ghana Tourism Authority (GTA), the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) and the Ho Municipal Assembly (HMA) are demanding their “pounds of flesh” from owners of the hostels as demanded by law.
But the owners of the hostels have difficulties with the approach adopted by the agencies not least the rates being charged by the Electricity Company of Ghana and the Ghana Water Company.
They have therefore decided to close their premises to the student occupants.
Five of the hostels have already shut their premises to their student occupants.
But Professor Emmanuel Kojo Sakyi, Rector of the Polytechnic said the closure of the hostels would have dire consequences for the students and the Polytechnic hence the forum to find a middle course.
The Forum agreed to constitute a Consultative Committee to fashion out proposals for inter-ministerial consideration.
The private hostels are accommodating between 75 to 80 percent of the approximately 4000 student population.
The Polytechnic’s two halls of residence accommodate about 550 students.
The Polytechnic is exploring partnerships with a strategic investor to provide a 5,000 capacity students’ hostel, Professor Sakyi said in an interview.
Mr Johnson Degboe, Chairman of the Private Hostels Owners Association said the hostels were meant to help the Polytechnic solve students accommodation problem when the then Ho Technical Institute was upgraded from a technical institute to polytechnic in 1993.
He said at that time authorities of the Polytechnic approached home owners around the Polytechnic to provide accommodation to the students, prompting them to create space in their homes to take in some of the students.
Mr Degboe said under the present circumstances owners of the hostels have no alternative but to revert their premises back to private homes in order to have their peace of mind. GNA