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23.06.2004 General News

John Mahama Rubbishes NPP Claim

By Chronicle

The claim by the New Patriotic Party (NPP) government that it had initiated the current modernization and expansion of TV and FM networks throughout the country, embarked on by the Ghana Broadcasting Corporation (GBC), has been dismissed by Mr. John Mahama, MP for BoIe-Bamboi.

Speaking in an interview with The Chronicle at Bole, the MP, a former Minister of Communications in the NDC and currently Communications Director for the NDC said he initiated the signing of the contract for the expansion and modernization whilst he was a Communications Minister.

The MP told the paper that the project was supposed to start in 1996, but funds could not be raised for it, so it lapsed.

Mr. Mahama disclosed that in 1999, the NDC government re-opened tender for bidders of the project and Rhodes & Schwarz of Germany won the contract.

According to him, the contract was then submitted to the Parliament and it was approved.

He said the contract was signed on November 24, 2000 and scheduled to be completed in the first quarter of 2002.

Mr Mahama said the project was designed to uplink GBC's FM and TV signals by satellite in order to avoid any geographical obstruction.

He added that " the reason for this was to ensure a clear vision and hearing of the GBC's FM radio and TV programmes nationwide."

Under the project, as revealed to The Chronicle, towns like Bole, Wa, Kintampo and the country as a whole, would enjoy clear TV reception without any problem.

"When the NPP won the elections and took over the management of affairs of this country, they decided to suspend the project to review it and this had to delay the project for almost three years," he disclosed to The Chronicle.

The NDC Communications Director told the paper that the go ahead for the project was given in August 2003 by the current government.

He therefore querried why the NPP government wanted to take credit for the project, knowing very well that they did not sign the contract.

According to him, the NPP government should rather be blamed for delaying the project, not take the credit they wanted on a silver platter.

According to the MP, in his constituency for instance, his political rival, the District Chief Executive (DCE) for Bole, Alhaji Adam Achanso, was spreading false information that his administration and for that matter, the NPP government had taken delivery of a TV booster for the people of the area.

Mr. Mahama refuted the allegation of the DCE, adding that Bole had already had a TV booster when he Mahama was a minister. To prove his case, the MP conducted this reporter round the Ghana Telecom (GT) exchange station, where the booster was installed.

Also, in the yard of the GT, was the satellite equipment brought to Bole to begin the installation works.

The MP as well, disclosed to The Chronicle, the plans of the NDC to increase the lines of Bole from 100 to 500, but unfortunately, his government lost.

Mr. Mahama took the opportunity to brief The Chronicle on some developmental projects he had brought to the people of Bole. Notably among them were the Bole water project, which enabled Bole to enjoy water throughout the year without any water shortage, tarring of almost five kilometers of Bole town roads and telephone extension to the town.

He disclosed that he was negotiating with the Ministry of Roads and Transport to complete the Bole Secondary School road and Mango Link road to the District Assembly to ensure the complete tarring of Bole township roads.

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