NDC Minority rejects government’s 5G spectrum deal as “opaque and corrupt”

June 3, 2024
NDC Minority Rejects Government's 5G Spectrum Deal as Opaque and Corrupt

Accusations of opacity and have been hurled at the /Bawumia administration by Ghana's Opposition Party, the National Democratic Congress (), regarding a controversial deal involving the country's 5G spectrum. The NDC's in has vehemently opposed the decision, labeling it as a brazen act of corruption and a threat to national interest.

The bone of contention lies in the government's decision to hand over Ghana's 5G spectrum to a mysterious entity named Next Gen Infraco Company Limited for a staggering period of 10 to 15 years. Under the terms of the deal, Next Gen Infraco Limited would wield exclusive rights to construct, own, and operate the entire 5G infrastructure network nationwide, granting access to mobile network operators, internet service providers, and other interested entities.

Of particular concern to the NDC Minority Caucus is the lack of transparency surrounding the deal. It was revealed that executive approval for the agreement was swiftly granted by President Akufo-Addo on August 22, 2023, merely one week after the company's incorporation on August 16, 2023. The absence of a competitive bidding process further fueled suspicions of underhanded dealings.

The Minority Caucus outlined several key grievances with the Next Gen Infraco 5G deal:

  1. Lack of Value for Money: The government's decision to settle for a mere USD$125 million over 10 years was deemed financially detrimental, considering the potential revenue of up to USD$400 million to USD$500 million that could have been generated through a competitive process.
  2. Unfair Monopoly and Exclusivity: The opaque nature of the agreement would grant Next Gen Infraco a monopolistic hold over 5G services, stifling competition and innovation within the industry.
  3. Absence of Parliamentary Approval: The lack of parliamentary oversight in approving the multi-year contract violated legal protocols, rendering the transaction null and void in the eyes of the law.
  4. Questionable Beneficiaries: Some entities within the consortium, purportedly benefiting from the deal, were revealed to have dubious track records and close ties to government officials.
  5. Undefined Regulatory Framework: The regulatory framework and operational guidelines for the agreement remained vague, raising concerns about accountability and governance.
  6. Lack of Investment Clarity: The expected investment from the consortium to justify their significant stake in Ghana's 5G network revenue was not clearly defined, casting further doubt on the deal's viability.

In light of these concerns, the NDC Minority Caucus pledged to scrutinize the transaction meticulously, vowing to collaborate with stakeholders to safeguard the nation's interests. The minority leader, Dr. Cassiel , announced plans to engage with the media and the Ghanaian public to shed light on the contentious issues surrounding the 5G spectrum deal.

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