A former Metro TV journalist, Hajia Ramana Shareef, has refuted claims that she enjoyed a £22,000 GETFund-sponsored scholarship in 2014.
She is part of a list of 86 beneficiaries provided by the Auditor-General to have received sponsorship from 2014 to 2018. However, Hajia Shareef, currently resident in Germany, has denied the claim and said that the fund never paid the monies for her tuition and stipend.
The Auditor-General has complained about arbitrary awards of scholarships to undeserving people which included “Members of Parliament, politicians, media practitioners, lecturers, heads of institutions and associates.”
Presenting her side of the story, Hajia Shareef told Joy FM on Monday that she received admission to study MSc Communication and Innovation for Development at the University of Reading in 2013.
But because of financial challenges, she applied for funding via the GETFund scholarship. Her application got the nod and she received an award letter when she was due for departure on September 22, 2014.
However, as of October the same year, she did not receive the funds, and the university gave her a month’s grace period. The UK High Commission had resolved at the time not to issue visas to students whose tuition had not been fully paid, and the receipts made available to the consulate.
“I waited and waited for the fees to be paid for me to get the visa to leave but it was never paid,” She lamented.
She had to defer for a year but GETFund did not release the funds. In an attempt to defer for the second time, the University of Reading declined, hence she could not enrol for the programme.
She joined her husband in Germany in 2015, by which time she was pregnant, and had been living there since then.
She is “wondering where the money went” and the reason her name is part of the listed beneficiaries when she never received a dime.
“Where did the money go because I didn’t go to the UK, I currently live in Germany, for the past six years,” She noted.
While Ramana struggled to receive funding. It has emerged that some members of Parliament had it easy at the expense of the needy.
The officials listed are the Labour and Employment Minister, Ignatius Baffour Awuah, received a scholarship to study at the University of Portsmouth for a Bachelor’s degree in International Relations and Politics. His living expenses and tuition amounted to more than £24,000.
The Deputy Majority Leader, Sarah Adwoa Safo, who is a daughter to a rich philanthropist, Apostle Kwadwo Safo, also benefited from a conference at the Harvard Kennedy School. Her conference cost the taxpayer $29,000 including living expenses.
The Education Minister, Matthew Opoku Prempeh, got a scholarship at Harvard University in the US to study “National and International Security” costing $24,000, including living expenses in 2014.
Source: Ghana Report