General News of 2014-05-23

Kufuor: I'll sell Ghana Telecom a hundred times

Former President John Agyekum Kufuor has broken his long held silence over the controversial sale of the country's majority share in Ghana Telecom (GT).

Government in 2006 traded its 70% share in the national telecommunications company to Vodafone International Holdings B.V. for $900 million.

The development generated controversy among the public, then opposition National Democratic Congress and some civil society groups.

The Socialists Forum, one of the lead critics of the sale of GT, claimed the deal was "done through a secretive and fraudulent process, superintended by the Ministry of Finance".

The then governing New Patriotic Party's Member of Parliament for Asikuma-Odebeng-Brakwa, P.C Appiah Ofori, also accused his colleagues of taking bribe of $5000 each to push the deal through in Parliament.

But speaking to Nana Ansah Kwao IV on Personality Profile on PM Express on the Joy News channel on Multi TV, Mr. Kufuor defended the decision his administration took to trade the state's stake in the company, which was reeling under a $400 million debt.

The company which then had around 400,000 customers for fixed and mobile telephony and Internet services, was also overstaffed as about 4000 its workforce was virtually redundant.

"We got $900 million 'neat' dollars [from Vodafone] for 70% shares paid up front," the former president stated.

He maintained: "I'll sell it a hundred times [and] I will do it again for Ghana if given the opportunity...not for me [Kufuor] but for Ghana".

According to him, prior to the sale to that transaction, the Malaysians who then had 30% shares GT "managed the company without accountability for five years".

Watch the full interview on the Joy News channel on Multi TV at 9pm today (Friday), May 23, 2014 and a repeat at Midday on Sunday.

Source: myjoyonline.com
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