Fouad Chalabi, a telecoms expert has questioned the government’s decision to purchase majority shares of telecommunications company, AirtelTigo.
This comes after the government announced last week that the deal to wholly own AirtelTigo had reached an advanced stage.
Reacting to the move on Citi Business News, Fouad Chalabi opined that the decision sends a bad signal for other industries operating in Ghana.
“I don’t understand the need for buying an operator at this stage, especially that this is not an operator that is making a profit. I believe that this will send a bad signal for many industries, [making them think that] they can be in an environment where no matter how bad they can perform, the government will come in and help them,” Fouad Chalabi is quoted by Citi Business News.
He added, “Maybe the move from government is to save jobs, but we are in a liberal open market. With the dynamics of the market and how things are happening, I don’t have any reason why I would go as a government to buy an operator.”
Fouad Chalabi noted the move will in no way be beneficial to the government since the operator was barely making any substantial profit.
Meanwhile, the government on its part says the decisions to purchase 100 percent shares of AirtelTigo is primarily intended to save jobs and protect stakeholders interest of some 5.1 million customers.
AirtelTigo is a joint venture between Bharti Airtel and Millicom International Cellular, operators of tiGO in Ghana. The two merged in 2017, becoming the second-largest telecom operator in Ghana at the time.
Additionally, Bharti Airtel holds a non-controlling 49.95 percent stake in AirtelTigo.