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Talks ongoing to reduce data cost, increase coverage - Bawumia

Talks ongoing to reduce data cost, increase coverage - Bawumia
Source: Ghana | Myjoyonline.com | Oswald Azumah| oswald.azumah@myjoyonline.com
Date: 14-08-2019 Time: 11:08:17:am
VP Bawumia says he has engaged CEO of MTN on reducing data cost in Ghana

Ghanaians may be paying less for data in the near future if balance is found between the Telcos and the state.

Vice President Mahamudu Bawumia has revealed that talks have already begun to achieve same.

The Veep said at a lecture at the National Theatre on Tuesday evening that he has met with the Chief Executive of telco giant, MTN Ghana, Selorm Adadevoh, on ways to reduce data cost.

The meeting, Dr. Bawumia noted, also included deliberations on how to increase access to data, especially to rural and deprived areas.

To achieve this, he conceded that the government “would need to make spectrum a bit more easily available and all of that…”

To achieve the increase in access, however, the government needs revenue.

Parliament has already approved a 3% increase in the Communications Service Tax (CST) – an increase the Telcos are not pleased with.

Read: Consumers to pay 3% more for talking

Deputy Communications Minister, Vincent Odotei said the monies would be channeled in improving the space including expanding access.

He said the target is to cover the entire country before December 2020. “How can we do all these when we don’t have the money,” Odotei quizzed, adding that “we have to start from somewhere.”

Ken Ashigbey
Ashigbey said the Telcos already pay some 40% of their revenues as taxes 

However, the Chamber of Telecommunications is not convinced. The CEO of the Chamber, Ken Ashigbey, noted that the Telcos already contribute some monies towards expanding access.

Mr. Ashigbey said the Chamber will meet with the government to discuss alternative ways of raising monies to increase access and fight cybercrime among others.