Is digital migration a burden for government's treasury to carry?

Thu, 2 Feb 2017 Source: Nduom, Papa Kwesi

The designated Minister of Communications has been quoted in the Ghanaian media to have said this during her vetting in Parliament:

“…My priority now is looking for the financing to power the network that has been the infrastructure put in place, and then subsequent to that, we can think about looking for additional funding for the set-up boxes which will enable those who have analog TV sets watch the new digital transmission; so once we solve all these problems, then we can stick to the September 2017 timeline, but if need be, we may have to extend it.”

When we still have a challenge financing stable power supply, building the public schools to provide the education our children need, grappling a humongous debt that prevents us from building the infrastructure to push development, why take on financing digital migration also?

In my humble opinion, and yes, as an investor in the system, our challenged government treasury must not be used to acquire set top boxes and the like. Government cannot buy set top boxes or digital television sets for all Ghanaians. We now have pension funds in Ghana to provide long term capital if the rules are revised to deal with such wants within the private sector.

To the incoming Minister, I say, engage the private sector and let the market fill the void. Only the best and cost-effective solutions should prevail in the end. The new administration should spend its time on those matters that fall in the "need" category.

Dr. Papa Kwesi Nduom

Columnist: Nduom, Papa Kwesi