The deputy ranking member on Parliament’s Communications Committee, Samuel Nartey George has urged government to ensure the operations of AirtelTigo under its wings are run effectively and efficiently.
“I side with most Ghanaians who are requesting for assurances that the fate of AirtelTigo will not be similar to most government parastatals, underpinned by negligence, inefficiency and drastic financial meltdown,” he indicated in a press statement.
According to him, the global Covid-19 pandemic has made it evident enough the relevance of ICT to the transformation of Ghana’s economic development agenda, hence, the need for government to be up to task.
Mr Nartey’s concerns briefly follow a signed agreement by Bharti Airtel Ghana Holdings B.V., MIC Africa B.V that saw the transfer of all customers, assets and agreed liabilities of AirtelTigo to government for a total sum of $25 million.
The company last year had successively been posting losses, as a result decided to offer its share for sale.
Speaking on the acquisition of the AirtelTigo shares, Mr Nartey George revealed that the initiative carried out by the government has since been confusing, shrouded in secrecy and sometimes contradictory.
He described the incident as “unfortunate” indicating that “we would expect transparency in such a major development that has economic and financial implications for the Ghanaian people.”
He has, therefore, requested an emergency meeting between the Communications Committee and the Ministry of Communications “to get a thorough and detailed briefing on the modalities of the alleged purchase, the economic state of AirtelTigo, issues regarding the status and welfare of Ghanaian workers of AirtelTigo and to understand the intention of the Ministry with regards to the long term plans for the company.”
“These calls are borne out of a need for Ghanaians to get an understanding of the transaction and for Parliament to exercise its oversight responsibility. My position is fortified by the provisions of Article 103 (3) of the constitution,” he added.
For him, with a clear and concrete strategy driven by professionals and support by regulatory congruence, AirtelTigo can be turned around to “enhance healthy competition within the ICT industry to the ultimate benefits of Ghanaians.”
He concluded by entreating the coperation of the Communications Ministry to ensure a healthy atmosphere in the country’s telecommunication industry.
“It is my hope that the Ministry would cooperate with the Committee as we carry out our mandate in the public interest and in line with global best practices of accountability,” he added.
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