Communications Minister, Dr Omane Boamah has challenged the newly formed Ghana ICT Chamber to explain honestly to Ghanaians that their members, namely Surfline, Gold Key and Blu technology were involved with all the process that lead to the invasion for bids toward the new 800mhz frequency.
Speaking in an interview with Kwami Sefa Kayi on PeaceFM’s Kokrokoo Morning Show, the minister said the government has well-intended plans.
“I didn’t even know such a chamber existed, and so I will urge them to come to the ministry to introduce themselves for us to know what they do and how we can help…they should not misinform Ghanaians…From what they are saying; it can be that they don’t know what they are talking about, or they have been misinformed…government says the auction is available to everybody, and I want to say here and now that local content does not mean my friends…it means Ghanaian company can participate in it, and it will still be local content…” Omane Boamah indicated.
But in a sharp rebuttal on the same platform, the ICT Chamber said the government had shifted the goal post by removing the exclusivity for Indigenous companies that was created by the criteria for the first auction in 2013 for the current 2600mhz by which Surfline has now covered three regions.
Speaking for the Chamber, Mr Paul Adom Otchere who is CEO said “this next generation of telcos is a most prized asset that the state must keep and retain for indigenous companies only.”
He cited examples of other countries that had followed this principle of indigenization over the award of LTE contract.
At the close of the bid last Monday, four companies had submitted bids, they include MTN, and ARAB company, Surfline and Gold key.
Mr Adom-Otchere drew examples also from South Africa’s (which is the home of MTN) famous indigenization policy called black empowerment to buttress his assertions.