THE UNIVERSITY OF THE GAMBIA

(Office of the Vice Chancellor)                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                SETTING THE RECORDS STRAIGHT: ALLEGATIONS OF CORRUPTION UNCOVERED AT UTG

Ismaila Ceesay has attacked the Vice Chancellor and the Senior Management Team of the University of the Gambia with malicious intent and total disregard of facts. Mr. Ceesay’s submission on the matter at hand is full of half-truths and outright lies. This is the second time Ismaila Ceesay has attempted to cause discord and disaffection within the UTG Community.

This recent outburst has exposed Ismaila Ceesay’s ignorance about management processes involved in the acquisition of assets for the University. Ignorance is not an excuse or a license to spout nonsense online. This irresponsible, unprofessional and disrespectful behaviour on his part must stop immediately. 

To be clear, it is the job of the Vice Chancellor as the CEO and Chief Academic Officer to set the priorities of the University and he is accountable to the Chancellor and the Governing Council of the University as his employers. And since the appointment of the 4th substantive Vice Chancellor–Prof. Dr. Faqir Muhammad Anjum, in October 2016 the UTG has seen significant progress in all areas in a relatively short period of time.

This Press Release wishes to set the record straight and to this end the Vice Chancellor and Senior Management Team state for the records the following:

  1. That Ismaila Ceesay is the President of the Staff Association of the UTG and he has access to the Vice Chancellor and the SMT. And whenever he wishes to disparage the reputation of the Senior Management he opts to speak in his name or Unknown ‘Pact of Influential Lecturers’’
  2. That there are proper channels of communication throughout the UTG hierarchy which are at all times opened for discussion about the welfare and wellbeing of all the staff of the UTG. Ismaila Ceesay used an online medium to spread complete falsehoods to a large community all over the World Wide Web.
  3. That for Ismaila Ceesay to fail or refuse to use the proper channels of communications open to all staff and students of the UTG leads to the conclusion that his latest outburst is not only capricious but inspired by ulterior motives and a nefarious agenda that have already wreak havoc on the reputation and good names of the UTG and Vice Chancellor.
  4. That based on the foregoing Ismaila Ceesay must show cause why disciplinary action should not be taken against him by the University of the Gambia, his employer.
  5. That without prejudice to this communication, the Vice Chancellor and the UTG reserves the right to sue Ismaila Ceesay for character assassination and defamation.

In reaction to Ismaila Ceesay’s convoluted and utterly contemptuous article widely shared on social media with regards to the said vehicle purchase and other issues, we wish to set the records straight as follows:

  1. The machinery to acquire new vehicles was set in motion a couple of years ago. However, in 2015 the matter was revived and the Office of the President was approached with a request for the provision of 12 vehicles. The request was not granted but OP instead advised UTG to include the vehicle matter in its budget. The advice was heeded to and subsequently approved by the University of The Gambia Governing Council.
  2. The sum of D7.5 Million was approved by the UTG Governing Council for the purchase of the said vehicles. However, due to a weak cash flow situation at the time, the matter was held in abeyance.
  3. Again in 2016, a budget line for vehicle purchase was considered and approved by the Governing Council.
  4. Given the rickety state of most of our vehicles, some acquired in 2006, Management proceeded with the implementation of the budget and followed due process (GPPA regulations) in the purchase of the six vehicles.
  5. It is misleading, and a concoction of ones imagination to accuse SMT of buying 7 vehicles each costing D1.5 Million without following due process and or recklessly spending money on misplaced priorities. For the avoidance of doubt, these are official vehicles that belong to UTG.
  6. On the assumption of duty of the incumbent Vice-Chancellor, a reconnaissance tour was conducted across all the campuses to get firsthand information on the problems, challenges and urgent priorities of each school. This was followed by submission of Reports to the Office of the Vice Chancellor by each School for consideration and approval. We wish to state that the implementation phase of these “urgent priorities” contained in the said reports is in progress and would be concluded before the commencement of lectures-27th February, 2017.This participatory approach afforded all the Schools the opportunity to list their needs in order of priority.
  7. Works on improving the sanitary conditions at the Kanifing campus (SBPA, Law Faculty, and School of Journalism) have been successfully executed. A similar effort is underway at the Brikama campus.
  8. Management recently bought over 650 chairs and 34 Ceiling Fans were distributed across the various campuses. In order to minimize the incessant furniture theft especially at the Gambia College campus, Management awarded a contract to UNCLE SAM Security outfit to provide 24/7 security on campus.
  9. Furthermore, with unwavering resolve to address the space constraint on campus, Management in compliance with GPPA regulations signed a contract with SANTA YALLA Construction Company to add two extra floors on the PEACE BUILDING situated at the Faculty of Law premises. The project is at a cost of D10 Million. The building will cater for offices, class rooms and laboratories.
  10. Management has finalized arrangements with QCELL GROUP for the provision of data cards, Laptops and computers. Staff and students will each be entitled to a laptop.
  11. To enhance efficiency in records keeping, Student Transcript processing and data retrieval among others, Management has awarded a contract to SUNA Institute to install an ERP System within two months. This project is at a cost of D400, 000. By next Semester, Students can access their grades online, seek admission online etc
  12. Barely four months in office, the Vice Chancellor in consultation with the SMT increased the retention allowances of all staff by 50% across the board. By the same token, UTG staff on study leave whose retention allowances were removed has now been restored.
  13. In response to the urgent need for staff training, eligible UTG staffs are granted tuition fee waivers to pursue degree programmes offered by the UTG. In the same vein, MoUs have been signed with a host of institutions across the globe for closer collaborations in research, capacity building amongst others. Some of the staff who directly benefitted from tuition fee waivers to pursue graduate programmes offered by UTG as well as staff granted study leave with salary to study abroad are:
  • Ensa Touray-MA African History (UTG)
  • Mamakeh Bojang-MA African History (UTG)
  • Sait Matty Jaw-MA African History (UTG)
  • Samba Bah- MA African History (UTG)
  • Malang Fanneh-MA African History (UTG)
  • Sana Saidykhan-MA African History (UTG)
  • Diantrec Badjie- MA French (UTG)
  • Nyouky-MA French (UTG)
  • Senghore-MA French (UTG)
  • MamTute Gaye- MA French (UTG)
  • Penda Gaye –MBA (UTG)
  • Bobo Baldeh-MBA (UTG)
  • Saikou Saidy Jeng-MBA (UTG)
  • Alagie Ceesay- MBA (UTG)
  • Ousman Fatty-MBA (UTG)
  • Remi Colley-MBA (UTG)
  • Saffiong Kebbeh MBA (UTG)
  • Aziz Cham-MBA (UTG)
  • Madam Jah-MBA (UTG)
  • Amfaal Conteh- BSc Management (UTG)
  • Ajie Touray-BSc Management (UTG)
  • Sainabou Ndow Ndow-BSc Management (UTG)
  • Famara Sanneh- Postgraduate Diploma-Sectoral Analysis of the Education System (UTG)
  • Fatou Bittaye- Postgraduate Diploma-Sectoral Analysis of the Education System (UTG)
  • Jainaba Drammeh- Postgraduate Diploma-Sectoral Analysis of the Education System (UTG)
  • Buda Badjie- Postgraduate Diploma-Sectoral Analysis of the Education System (UTG)
  • Tambedou- Postgraduate Diploma-Sectoral Analysis of the Education System (UTG)
  • Ishata Bojang-BSc Human Resource Management (UTG)
  • Ismaila Jagne-MPA (USA)
  • Ansumana Darboe-MPA (USA)
  • Awa Badjan-MPA (USA)
  • Evelyna Mendy-MPA (USA)
  • Modou Jatta-MPA (USA)
  • Mustapha Kah MA (Russia)
  • Sait Matty Jaw MPA ( Norway)
  • Alieu Gibba-PhD candidate (Economics)-Hungary
  • Mustapha Jobarteh-PhD candidate (Economics)-Turkey
  • Kebba Jammeh-PhD candidate (Econnomics)-UK
  • Yaya S. Jallow-PhD candidate (Economics)-UK
  • Lang Sanyang-PhD Candidate (Management)-Turkey
  • Tijan Bah-PhD candidate (Economics)-Portugal
  • Hamidou Jawara- PhD candidate (Economics)-Italy
  • Serigne Touray-PhD candidate (Economics)-UK
  • Fatty- PhD candidate (Agriculture)-Nigeria
  • Jainaba Sey- Sawo PhD candidate (Nursing)-Nigeria
  • Tunkara-Bah-PhD candidate (Nursing)-Nigeria
  • Aquah Hackman –PhD candidate (Computer Science)-Taiwan
  • Momodou Lamin Sanyang-PhD candidate (Computer Science)-UK
  • Amy Aidara-Jah- PhD candidate (Management)-Portugal
  1. A School of Graduate Studies has been established to offer relevant graduate programmes. The School is in consultation with University of Ibadan to launch joint graduate degree programmes. A trip by the VC and Dean of Graduate Studies to Ibadan in April 2017 will seal the arrangements for the start of the postgraduate programmes including PhDs.
  2. Through the efforts of the Vice Chancellor and SMT, the Qatari Ambassador to The Gambia has pledged serious support of his government for UTG. The paperwork is being finalized for submission.
  3. Similar pledges have been made by the Chinese Embassy to support the establishment of an Engineering Faculty due to start next academic year.
  4. The vexed issue of the New Grading System is under active consideration. The matter will be discussed at the upcoming Senate Meeting.
  5. On Tuesday 14th February, 2017, Management paid a courtesy call on His Excellency President Adama Barrow and brought to his attention the challenges the UTG is grappling with including but not limited to:-
  • Inadequate funding,
  • low and unattractive salaries,
  • space constraints,
  • staff training,
  • need for laboratories,
  • research fund,
  • establishment of a center of excellence for food science

The President while recognizing the critical role of education in national development called for patience and assured the UTG delegation of his government’s resolve to look into the challenges as soon as a Minister for the sector is appointed.

In conclusion, the Vice Chancellor/SMT wish to reaffirm that although freedom of expression is guaranteed under the Gambian Constitution, there are no provisions that gave an individual a carte blanche to defame the character of another person or to misinform society with intent to cause malice or sow seeds of discord that could undermine the peace and stability of the country. It is a truism that information dissemination must be accurate, authentic and factual to benefit society. But any story deliberately concocted to deceive and misguide people, could wreak havoc on society with all its attendant consequences.

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