On yer bike! Free public transport for kids idea derailed by cycling advocates :: Free rail passenger services for Takoradi, Tarkwa commuters :: Thrills @ Amakye Dede @ 45 Concert :: UTV Hosts Celebrities On New Year’s Day :: 2 past BoG Governors responsible for ‘rotten’ banking system – Joe Jackson :: Togolese Soldiers Intrusion Reported To Interpol :: GES announces reopening dates for Senior High Schools :: Socialists again call for action to ‘stop expats displacing Amsterdammers’ :: Kofi Annan''s Death; Ghana Flags To Fly At Half-Mast For One Week :: Let’s spend on the living not the dead – Palmer-Buckle to Ghanaians ::

General News
Westel Saga & President Kufuor''s Meddling 3/12/2007
President Kufuor is known to be an ardent believer in "due process and the rule of law". What therefore seem to be happening regarding the international open bid for the erstwhile Westel shares smacks of corruption and interference from the highest level.
You will recall that in 2006 there was an international bid for the 66.67% shares owned by A.C.G. Westel Systems, the American majority shareholder of Westel Ghana. As it turned out Westel was a mere empty shell company and was not able to deploy the necessary phone lines as per its license agreement. The Ghana Government eventually paid $10M to end the Westel saga .

The closing date for the international bid was set at February 28th 2006 at 5PM. It is widely believed that the President took personal interest in this and instructed that the bid not be opened at the advertised date and time. Things remained quiet for a few months until June 2006 when two Transactional Advisors were appointed to value the company. The Transactional Advisors appointed were Databank Financial Services Ltd and NTHC Ltd, they valued the company at $65,000,000. The bid was subsequently opened in November 2006 and 4 bidders were short-listed.

On Thursday March 1st 2007 the Transactional Advisors notified 4 bidders; AfricanSoft Ltd, CelTel of Netherlands, Kinz Telecom and VodaCom of South Africa to make submissions and presentations for a new bid on March 8th and 9th 2007. VodaCom withdrew because they had come to the conclusion that the bidding process had become a sham and due process was no longer being followed. The 3 remaining bidders (AfricanSoft, CelTel and Kinz Telecom) each made presentations on both March 8th and March 9th to the Ministerial Committee as was requested.

The Ministerial Committee comprised of: Minister of Communications, the Deputy Minister, Chief Director of Ministry, Director of Ministry, lawyer from the Attorney General''s department, representative from Ministry of Finance, 4 members from Databank, 4 members from NTHC Ltd plus one international transactional advisor.

After the presentations on March 9th 2007 the Chief Director of Ministry who it is alleged has close ties to the President informed him of the deliberations that had just transpired. It is also alleged by sources close to the bid process that the Chief Director of Ministry has also been undermining the bid process. News reaching sources in America is that the President (Kufuor) was not happy about the outcome of the bid. The reason being he (Kufuor) favors CelTel to win because his eldest son is behind CelTel. Kufuor has instructed the Ministerial Committee to revalue the company at $200,000,000 (Two Hundred Million USD) in the hope that AfricanSoft and Kinz Telecom will drop out and the bid awarded to his son''s CelTel company.

There are enormous implications and repercussions if the meddling, the perceived lack of due process and rule of law by the President himself is determined to be true:

(1) the image of the President and the respect for the presidency will be tarnished, both at home and abroad.
(2) privatization of Ghana Telecom - will you have the confidence to buy shares in this company knowing that the President is actively moving the proverbial goal post to suit his whims?
It is high-time that everyone in the Castle, especially the President, learn and apply due process and the rule of law.
Applied arbitrariness and corruption all round involving the Castle and ministers must end.

The Ministerial Committee must stand firm in the face of unwanted pressure from the President and do the honorable thing - release the results of the March 9th 2007th bid NOW. This is the only way to end the rumors currently doing the rounds in the USA. It is widely believed that unless President Kufuor gets his way in awarding contracts and bids to family and friends nothing gets done. Why is Kufuor holding the country to ransom for his personal gains? This must end now.

Release the results of the March 9th 2007 open bid for all to know the facts. The Public Procurement Law clearly forbids delays in opening of bids and declaring the outcome. Ultimately, the interest of the country must always trump the personal wishes of an individual.

Yaw Sarpong Boating (USA)


Copyright© Radio Recogin 2022 Designed by [ModernGhana.com