Members of the opposition Convention People’s Party (CPP) in Ghana yesterday submitted a petition to parliament to register their disapproval over the sale of a majority stake in national PTO Ghana Telecom (GT) to the UK’s Vodafone Group. As controversy over the proposed sale intensifies, the CPP members, reportedly calling themselves ‘the concerned citizens of Ghana’, have described the deal as ‘undesirable’ and ‘unscrupulous’ and questioned the executive’s motives for rushing bills through parliament without first conducting due diligence. A spokesperson for the group, Naa Kordi Asemeh, is quoted by MyJoyOnline as saying the sale was a ‘betrayal of the independence ideal that the black man can manage his or her own affairs.’ Dr. Nii Moi Thompson, a member of the CPP campaign team, was more scathing, saying: ‘The government had recklessly offloaded state assets to foreign investors with the misleading expectation that they [the international investors] will invest in that; they did that with the Kumasi shoe factory where the so-called strategic investor failed to invest and rather rented facilities to Ghanaian businesses.’
Dr Thompson went on to say that it appeared the government had signed the document without first reading it (a reference to the sale of GT’s fibre-optics for close to 1,000 years – something the cabinet now admits was an error) and said the agreement was riddled with inconsistencies and unfavourable terms which were not in the interest of the country. However, with just one day left before Parliament goes on a summer recess, the question being asked is will the agreement be ratified?