Chinese firm sues govt over digital migration contract

Business News of Wednesday, 18 February 2015

Source: Starrfmonline.com

Dr Edward Omane Boamah New

Chinese firm, StarTimes, has dragged the Communication Ministry to court over what it has described as unlawful termination of its contract.

The firm was tasked to supply and install the Digital Terrestrial Television network platform for Ghana.

But according to the communication ministry, the firm failed to secure the necessary funding from the China Exim Bank to execute the project.

The firm has filed a suit in court seeking an injunction on government’s move to abrogate their contract.

The International Telecommunications Union (ITU), has set a June 2015 deadline for all countries to migrate from analogue to digital television broadcasting.

In view of this, government entered into a contract with the Chinese company to supply the infrastructure for the migration.

In October 2013, some local industry players raised questions about the capacity of StarTimes to execute the contract and meet the deadline.

They pointed to the cancellation of a similar contract by the Tanzanian government as a basis for their doubt.

They said they were waiting with bated breath over the development in Tanzania because, according to them, the decision to award Ghana’s contract to the company, was without proper due diligence.

Sources at the Communications Ministry at the time remained confident that the migration would be done and on time by StarTimes.

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