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Saturday, February 24, 2024

Bunkpurugu MP laments decline in telecom industry –

Dr. Abed Bandim, the Member of Parliament for Bunkpurugu, has given clear evidence of the overall decline in all aspects of the telecom industry in Ghana.

When he took his turn on the floor of P
parliament last week, Dr Bandim explained that the number of mobile network operators and exclusive broadband wireless operators have declined by half since the Akufo-Addo/Bawumia administration took office in 2017.

“Mr Speaker, under President John Mahama who they [NPP] called incompetent, he handed over six mobile network telecom operators.

“For the avoidance of doubt, there was Expresso in operation, we had MTN operating, we had Vodafone operating, we had a network call Glo operating, we have TiGo operating and we have Airtel operating- six of them under John Dramani Mahama.

“Today, Mr. Speaker I can report to you that they have collapsed the telcos. It’s only left with three telecoms. Even with the three, one is limping because Airtel couldn’t operate, TiGo, couldn’t operate and they have forced a merger. The Minister should come and give this House a briefing. The Minister has failed to appear before us and brief us about the merger of AirtelTiGo. As we speak, we don’t know how much government spent to ensure that AirtelTiGo is in operation,” he explained.

Dr Bandim also spoke about the troubles with Vodafone, a company in which the Ghanaian government have 30 percent shares.

“Mr. Speaker, I can also report that Vodafone is limping. They [the Akufo-Addo/Bawumia administration] have offered Vodafone to Telecel.

“Telecel is making losses in countries such as Chad, Gibraltar, DR Congo and Gabon where they are operating. It is therefore shocking that Vodafone should be sold to them.

“In 2008 when the Kufuor administration was selling Ghana Telecom to Vodafone, the issue of profitability and efficiency dominated public discourse.

“At the time, Vodafone, Telkom South Africa and other worthy competitors operating profitably lobbied stakeholders openly about their offer. Sadly, today, the Akufo-Addo/Bawumia administration is selling Ghana’s remaining 30 percent shares in Vodafone in secret – without public debate,” he added.

On the issue of broadband wireless application, Dr Bandim had this to say:

“In 2015/2016, we had also six broadband wireless application companies. For the avoidance of doubt, we had Broadband Home, we had Surfline. Surfline operated in Tema and Accra. Today you don’t hear about Surfline. There was a broadband wireless application called Goldkey, they have gone under. We had a broadband company called Busy Internet, they have also gone under.
Comsys, they have gone under.”

The Minister for Finance, Ken Ofori-Atta, presented the 2024 budget to parliament on November 15, 2023.

MA/AE

Source: www.ghanaweb.com

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