The Minority in Parliament are demanding that government discloses the full details of its aquisition of telecommunications network AirtelTigo.
The government of Ghana, Bharti Airtel and Millicom International Cellular S.A. on Friday announced execution of the definitive agreement for transfer of ‘AirtelTigo’ to Government of Ghana, on a going concern basis.
The Government of Ghana (GoG) whas since acquired 100% shares of AirtelTigo along with all customers, assets and liabilities.
Minister for Communications and Digitalisation, Ursula Owusu-Ekuful says the Akufo-Addo acquired the telecommunication network that was nearly collapsing for just One dollar ($1).
But Deputy Ranking Member for Parliament’s Committee, Sam Nartey George says the deal must be probed in Parliament, and has suggested although the House is on recess, the committee members converge to investigate the aquisition.
In an interview with TV XYZ News, the MP for Ningo Prampram stated, “We need to know what the deal entails; what is the current state of AirtelTigo, because we know that before the merger of Airtel and Tigo, governmnent had shares in Airtel [and] Airtel did appear before parliamentary committee and let us know that governnent had failed, over the years, to make payment for the infrastructure for its shareholding in Airtel.”
“We want to know the state of AirtelTigo,” Mr George quizzed. “what’s the valuation that has been put on it? Is it commercially viable?”
According to the government, debts accrued by AirtelTigo amounting to $100 million owed to Standard Bank will be structured by the government and paid off but Mr George suspects the government wants to do business with the telecom company.
“Or is government just buying this and a few months on the line we are going to be told that government is selling it off to a private individual or a group of individuals? We need to understand because we are minded by the government history in Airtel; the history of government in Ghana Telecom and we want to ensure that the right thing is done,” he cautioned.
Asked if it was wrong for the government to re-sell AirtelTigo, the MP fumed “Government has no business buying and selling; government is not a retail shop. Government has bought it and government must run it.”
Meanwhile, the government to make efforts to revive the company by making suitable investments and operate the company while protecting the interests of the customers, employees of the company and all other stakeholders.