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Minority kicks against 5G contract; says it’s not in Ghana’s interest

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Source: Myjoyonline.com

 

The Minority in Parliament has expressed serious concerns about the government’s decision to award a 5G licensing contract to NextGen InfraCo, a company established just a week prior to the contract’s approval.

According to the Minority, the deal lacks transparency and does not serve the country’s best interests.

In a press statement issued on Monday, June 3, and signed by the Minority Leader, Dr Cassiel Ato Forson, the NDC MPs pledged to oppose the deal.

The statement highlighted similar contracts awarded by the current government that have resulted in waste of state resources, reinforcing their skepticism about the NextGen InfraCo deal.

The NDC MPs emphasised the need for scrutiny and accountability, assuring Ghanaians that they will address the issue in the coming days to shed light on the opacity of the deal and its potential implications for Ghana.

“The regulatory framework and operational modalities and guidelines for this opaque arrangement have not been clearly defined by the Akufo-Addo/Bawumia government, which appears to be in an indecent haste to give away the country’s 5G spectrum for a pittance,” an excerpt of their statement said.

Investigative journalist Manasseh Azure Awuni was the first to raise alarm about the deal.

Later, Ursula Owusu-Ekuful, the Minister for Communications and Digitalisation, defended the government’s decision to award the 5G licensing contract to NextGen InfraCo.

The Ablekuma West MP clarified that NextGen InfraCo was specifically established to manage the 5G rollout. She added that, at the time, there was no other existing infrastructure company with the necessary capacity for this project.

The minister further explained that the direct award of the contract to this new company is part of the government’s strategy to overcome previous challenges with the 45, and expedite the deployment of the 5G network in Ghana.

“This is a special purpose vehicle and once the government took the decision that we will use a neutral infrastructure company to deliver this service, there is no existing neutral infrastructure company that can deliver it at the moment.”

“So, it had to be specifically formed for the purpose of delivering this service based on the strategic policies and decisions of the government, and it is borne out of our experiences and that is why we chose not to auction it,”she stated.

 

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