|Audio Attachment:Minister of Communications, Hon. Haruna Iddrisu, advancing reasons why the decision by gov't to re-engage with the management of Vodafone International, is in the best interest of Ghanaians, since portions of the Sales and Purchase Agreement, are inimical to the interest of the country.|
Government has officially commented on the Inter-Ministerial Review Committee it set-up to review the sale of 70% of Ghana Telecom shares to Vodafone, and says it will not abrogate the GT/Vodafone contract but will re-engage with the management of Vodafone International and ensure that there is compliance with the country�s laws.
Below is the full Press Release signed by the Chief of Staff at the Office of the President
The Government of Ghana has reviewed the report of the Inter-Ministerial Review Committee it set-up in furtherance of a campaign promise to review the sale of seventy percent (70%) of Ghana Telecommunications Company (GT) to Vodafone International. The 70% stake was divested for nine hundred million US dollars ($900m) under a Sale and Purchase Agreement (SPA).
Government accepts the recommendation that in future, negotiations involving government must be handled by a team of technical experts and negotiators. In addition, copies of all government agreements would be lodged with government archivists as required by law with a second repository lodged with the Attorney General. Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) that retain copies must superintend the execution and implementation of the respective public agreements to ensure that the best interest of Ghana is protected.
Government has after a careful review of the findings, also accepted the recommendation of the Committee to re-engage with the management of Vodafone International and ensure that there is compliance with the country�s laws. This process of re-engagement is without prejudice to any legal suits pending before the courts of Ghana.
The re-engagement would also include issues relating to the operation of the National Fibre Optic Backbone which is considered a strategic national asset by many Ghanaians. The National Communications Backbone Company (NCBC) which is managing the Fibre Optic Backbone will enable Government promote its key ICT policies and must be an open-access network that serves the whole country with competitively-priced services that will enable the rapid development of e-Government, BPO and other ICT Industries and Services.
By this action, Government is looking forward to the realization of the true value of the fibre optic backbone and a consideration of its policy objectives in order to arrive at an outcome that benefits the people of Ghana.
As recommended by the Committee, Vodafone GT would be expected to provide detailed reporting requirements based on audited accounting and reporting principles for the attention of the re-engagement team. Also to be considered is the possible return of some GT investments including landed properties and the Telecom Emporium to the Government of Ghana.
Government would also ensure a conclusion to the processes that have already started for the decoupling of the Ghana Telecom University from the rest of Vodafone GT�s operations.
Government has also taken note of the Committee�s findings in relation to the appalling financial state of GT before the SPA which the Committee attributed to gross mismanagement, financial malpractices and irregularities by Telenor/Telecom Management Partners (TMP) and later the three-member Interim Management Committee (IMC).
Government will institute investigations into and an audit into the management of GT by the TMP and the IMC led by Engineer Dickson Oduro Nyaning.
Accordingly, Government would set up a Joint Working Team to engage with Vodafone to ensure that the decisions outlined are implemented.
Government wishes to acknowledge the public�s interest in the matter of GT�s sale and the insistence that the national interest must be protected at all times. We therefore congratulate the Justice Emmanuel Akwei Addo Committee for the good work done and the commitment to safeguarding the National Interest.
J. H. MARTEY NEWMAN
CHIEF OF STAFF
Meanwhile, in an interview on Joyfm, the Minister of Communications, Hon. Haruna Iddrisu, maintained that the decision is in the best interest of Ghanaians, since portions of the Sales and Purchase Agreement, are inimical to the interest of the country, and government will correct that.
He cited the National Fibre Optic Backbone and other landed properties which he said will be re-negotiated.
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