The National President of the University Teachers Association of Ghana (UTAG), Dr. Harry Agbanu, has said the Book and Research allowances due lecturers for the just ended 2015/2016 academic year, is expected to paid within the next two weeks.
In an interview with Citi News, Dr. Harry Agbanu expressed the hope that the annual strikes that herald the payment of the allowances will not be witnessed this year.
He noted that government had agreed that every academic year, GHc 500 will be given to senior members for research and US$1500 for books.
“This is the money that is to be paid in maybe a week or two for the 2015/2016 academic year,” he stated. Dr. Agbanu is hopeful that government will this time around, ensure that the money is paid on time.
“Years back, these monies were paid in October or November, and you hear lecturers threatening strikes or even going on strike before the monies are paid.
But this year, we are lucky that government is quite proactive and they are doing everything possible to pay it earlier than usual.”
National Research Fund still needed
Despite proposals for a National Research Fund, the UTAG National President also insisted that the continuous payment of the Book and Research Allowance will in no way inhibit the establishment of the proposed Research Fund. According to him, instituting the research fund will serve as a key component for development.
Dr. Agbanu explained that, “Social development and socio-economic development is tied to good quality research and so if Ghana wants to develop, then it must be ready to invest in research so there must be the need for a research fund.”
“We understand that is what government is doing, and that should not only be for lecturers. It should be for anybody at all who wants to do research that will be of interest to the developmental agenda of this country,” he added.