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18.05.2009 Business & Finance

Minister inaugurates Vodafone review committee

By GNA
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Accra, May 18, GNA – Mr. Haruna Iddrisu, Minister of Communications, on

Monday inaugurated a five-member committee to review the sales and purchase

agreement (SPA) between the government of Ghana and Vodafone

International Holdings BV.
The five-member committee comprised of Mr. Justice Emmanuel Addo, a

retired Appeal Court Judge, Chairman, Mrs. Ama Banful, representative of the

Attorney-General and Ministry of Justice, Mr. Benjamin Cudjoe, Assistant

Auditor-General, Mr. Opoku Gyamfi Boateng, Financial Consultant and Mr.

Issah Yahaya, representative of the Ministry of Communications.

The committee would be assisted by a four member technical team

comprising Mr. Raymond Atuguba, a legal consultant, Dr. Ben Adu, a

communications consultant, Mr. Michel Bow-Amuah, a network consultant and

Ms Rita Sraha, a financial expert.
Mr. Iddrisu spelt out a 15-point terms of reference for the committee and

gave them 90 days to present a report to the ministry.

He charged them to uphold the principles of transparency and fairness in

their work.
The terms of reference for the committee included why the National Fibre

Optics backbone was included in the sale, justification for the indemnity clause

in the SPA and possibly its removal, why some the Ghana Telecom (GT)

liabilities were not covered under the SPA, the exemption regime under the

SPA in relations to offers of 3G licenses, how much capital Vodafone has

invested since the take over and issue about the change of name and

headquarters of GT.
Mr. Iddrisu noted that the review would be done in good faith and without

prejudice, saying that it would focus on the SPA but not interfere with the

Parliamentary action in approving the agreement.
“We trust that the review would provide us with tools to advise Parliament to

take a closer look at aspects of the SPA,” he said.

The minister said the review was in fulfilment of a manifesto pledge to the

people of Ghana, adding that it was necessary for the government to keep faith

with the electorate and deliver on their promises.
“You may also recall that the Ghanaian public and the political parties in

opposition at the time raised critical questions on the transaction.

“We need to find answers to these questions - I wish to assure you that the

review is being done to assuage the concerns of the Ghanaian public,”

Mr. Iddrisu said after the review government would be in the position to

take a decision that would be in the strategic interest of the country with regards

to Vodafone.
“I wish to assure potential investors that we will continue to encourage

foreign investment in Ghana, provided those investments are legitimate and

genuine,” he said.
Mr. Iddrisu said government, for instance, believed that the name should

remain as GT/Vodafone instead of the new name, Vodafone.

Mr. Justice Addo, assured the minister that the committee would scrutinise

the SPA thoroughly and provide government with the needed information for a

decision advantageous to Ghana.
Vodafone acquired 70 per cent of The Enlarged Ghana Telecom for US$900

million amidst hue and cry from the public.
Some individuals have taken the government to court since, seeking a review

of the transaction but Vodafone has welcomed a review by the government.

Meanwhile the Network of Communications Reporters (NCR) has

welcomed the review and appealed to the committee to thread cautiously not to

compromised Ghana's image as a favourable investment destination.

Mr. Charles Okine, Dean of the NCR said in the same manner the approval

of the SPA was made public, the findings and recommendations of the review

should also not be shielded in secrecy.
He welcomed Vodafone into the country and expressed the hope that it

would bring its international expertise to bear on the country's telecom industry

and on the economy as a whole.
GNA

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