General News Tue, 24 Oct 2000

We'll buy Ghana Telecom back – UGM

The presidential candidate of the opposition United Ghana Movement (UGM), Dr. Charles Wereko-Brobby, on Monday said a UGM government would buy out Malaysian share-holdings in Ghana Telecom (GT) and sell them back to Ghanaians. "We believe that Malaysian holding of GT is no good investment as they are still struggling to build their own economy," he said. "Moreover, Malaysians will not allow foreigners that advantage in their own country."

Wereko-Brobby was answering a question on his party's position on the divestiture of state-owned enterprises at a press conference. He said that though the UGM believes in privatisation of state-owned enterprises, it would not confuse foreign ownership with good management.

"There is lack of transparency in the divestiture implementation programme, but we will not embark on blanket retrieval as that will send wrong signals to investors."

Wereko-Brobby said a UGM government would place all state-owned enterprises earmarked for divestiture on the stock market for Ghanaians to buy shares.

He repeated his call for an increase in petroleum prices to reflect current international price levels, saying, "we can postpone reality but we cannot change it".

He accused the government of making Ghana the "most successful beggar nation" after over 20 years of its rule.

He said the government has confused development with provision of physical infrastructure such as roads, school buildings, hospitals and electricity without ensuring the availability of the human resource to man them.

A UGM government, he said, would re-orient the country's relationship with its development partners towards human capacity development and retention through effective motivation rather than seeking their assistance for infrastructural development and financing of balance of payments deficit.

He described the cash and carry system as "cash down or carry the corpse home", adding that a UGM government would pursue a health sector social security scheme under which it would enter into contractual agreement with doctors to treat all registered members to be later reimbursed by government.

Wereko-Brobby described the current drainage and environmental sanitation systems in the country as primitive and gave the assurance that his government would make use of modern scientific solutions in keeping the environment clean and safe

Source: GNA