This is a shift from the church’s earlier decision to levy members to pay up the debt.
The MUCG, in 2011, took a GH¢10 million loan from the Prudential Bank to undertake infrastructural projects on its campuses at Dansoman, Tema and Wenchi, but had since been struggling to pay back the loan which had accrued interest.
The Very Rev. Prof. Joseph Edusa- Eyison, Vice Principal of the university, in an interview with The Ghanaian Times in Accra yesterday, said the university had paid GH¢4 million of the loan, and was still taking measures to assist the Church which took the loan in line with its responsibility to provide infrastructure for the university.
He said the loan was not secured by the University but by the Council of the Methodist Church, presided over by Rev. Prof. Emmanuel Martey.
Commenting on the unwillingness of some members of the Church to contribute towards the re-payment of the loan, Prof. Edusa-Eyison said the Church had not forced any member to pay the debt, and explained that the decision that all 15 dioceses of the Church should pay 30 per cent of their annual harvest to clear the debt was taken by the leadership of the Church at its annual conference last year.
Reacting to the protests by some members of the church of the issue Prof Edusa said, “the MUCG belongs to the Methodist Church and every member owns the university”.
Touching on admissions, he stated that the university had not neglected members of the Church but it required all applicants to have “good grades”.
“The university is poised to do the right thing by enrolling students with the required grades as prescribed by the National Accreditation Board,” he stated.
“It was not the character of the Methodist University to be rude and I will, therefore, use this platform to apologise to all church members who have been offended by some staff of the school in one way or the other,” he said, adding that the university would soon increase the five per cent incentive on fees enjoyed by members of the church to 10 per cent in no time.
Meanwhile, some members of the societies of the Methodist Church Ghana have expressed divergent views about calls by the leadership of the church members to help pay off the GH¢10 million loan.
Big societies with large memberships are expected to pay higher amounts while those with lesser membership would pay less, based on the leadership’s decision.
However, some members of the Church at the St. Peters and the Macedonia Methodist Church, who spoke to The Ghanaian Times in Accra, described the decision by the leadership of the church as unfortunate and undesirable.
Some of the members studying at the university argue that they do not feel as people who own the college, due to the difficulties they encountered in gaining admission.
“We pay fees on point,” one member said, and wondered why the university is in such a huge debt, “I am a student of the MUC and I don’t get any discount when paying my fees, so they must use the fees they have collected to clear the debt”.
By Linda Aryeetey