It was specifically formed for that purpose — Ursula Owusu on why a week-old NGIC was given Ghana’s 5G deal

Headlines Ursula Owusu Ekuful, Communications Minister
Ursula Owusu Ekuful, Communications Minister

Ghana's newly launched partnership to build a national 5G mobile network has faced allegations of lack of transparency in the process of granting the contract to a newly incorporated company with no track record.

However, Communications Minister Ursula Owusu Ekuful has clarified the government’s decision to award the deal to build a shared 5G infrastructure to the Next-Gen InfraCo (NGIC) without an open bidding process.

According to the Minister, NGIC was specifically incorporated for the purpose of the deal since no existing company could deliver the infrastructure.

“This is a special purpose vehicle and once the government took the decision that we will use a neutral infrastructure company to deliver this service, there is no existing neutral infrastructure company that can deliver it at the moment,” said Owusu Ekuful during a press briefing on Thursday, May 30.

“So, it had to be specifically formed for the purpose of delivering this service based on the strategic policies and decisions of the government, and it is borne out of our experiences and that is why we chose not to auction it,” she added.

The decision to award such a major contract worth hundreds of millions directly to a newly formed company with no track record had courted criticisms from renowned journalist Manasseh Azure Awuni.

The Fourth Estate editor-in-chief has been questioning the transparency and vetting process used, given that NGIC incorporated less than a week before the President approved the deal, has no track record.

“What is the track record of a company that was formed less than a week before the president approved the deal?” questioned Azure Awuni.

Isaac Donkor Distinguished
Isaac Donkor Distinguished

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