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26.02.2002 Feature Article

Get Us The Best For Communication - National Communication Authority

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It is very frustrating to pick up the phone and dial a number several times only to hear "all international circuit into the country are busy, please try later" or "the area code you have dialed is incorrect". At times one may think the telephone area codes in Ghana have been changed. This shows the inefficient and unsatisfactory service provided by Telecom Malaysia, which has being controlling Ghana Telecom for the past four (4) years.

As to how the Malaysians maneuvered to get Ghana Telecom is a thing of the past and I don't expect the National Communication Authority and Ministry of Communications and Technology in general to repeat such a great mistake by issuing license to incompetent companies whose technological know-how is far below our expectation and satisfaction.

Telecom Malaysia enjoyed an absolute monopoly over land-based communications in the country yet; it could not work to our satisfaction. It has failed Ghana. This should be a great lesson to the ruling government especially when signing contracts and making deals. Care must be taken in order not go into contract that will be detrimental to the citizens.

I don't know how people perceive the Telecom sector to be but I am very sure that many will consent to the fact that it is one of the most sensitive if not the most sensitive and strategic sector of the economy and, any misfortune that will befall it can mar the affairs of the entire nation and jeopardize the other sectors as well. Therefore, it will be in the interest of Ghana if Mr. Owuwsu-Adjpong, the Minister for communications goes by his word by taking into consideration resource sufficiency, technological know-how and above all, respect for the people when approving on licenses to prospective bidders who would like to operate the telecom sector. The end of Telecom Malaysia's control over Ghana Telecom as the Technical Consultant is a victory to Ghana and the refusal to renew the agreement is very good and in the interest of Ghana. However, the victory will run to null if in the issuance of licenses to prospective operators transparent screening and scrutiny is ignored. Ghana needs investors but the best must be searched for our dear nation. Malaysians are foreign investors in Ghana yet; they are not doing us any good. Let us try to avoid such wasteful investors who only come to exploit us. In a perfect competitive market, the quality of services or products produced by the various competitors is of utmost concern to them as compared to a producer who enjoys an absolute monopoly in the market. Though, Westell was made to operate in some part of Accra and Tema, it is factual that its operation was minimal. The monopoly enjoyed by the Malaysian contributed to the poor, unsatisfactory and bogus service they rendered to us. However, we must be mindful of unhealthy competition, which can go against the nation. The past leaders of our nation have been noted for awarding contracts and making deals on party basis and almost always favoring their party affiliates. The present government under the leadership of His Excellency, President J.A Kuffuor promised us of positive change and all-inclusive government based on competence. Thus, when licensees are issued based on competence and expertise and not on party basis, then Ghana can be assured of quality telecom services both internal and international and the fruition thereof will be satisfactory to consumers. With this, business will flourish since there will be no cutting of calls and no voice as " all international circuit into the country are busy" will be heard.

Kwame Wiredu-Mensah
Kwame Wiredu-Mensah, © 2002

The author has 7 publications published on Modern Ghana. Column Page: KwameWireduMensah

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