The way and manner the sale of Vodafone Ghana to Telecel Group has been handled require further interrogation to be done on the deal, Ningo Prampram Member of Parliament, Samuel Nartey George has said.
Speaking on the Ghana Tonight show with Alfred Ocansey on TV3 Tuesday, January 17, the Ningo Prampram Member of Parliament said “It is necessary for us to scrutinize [the deal] because about five months ago, Telecel made an approach, Vodafone was ready to sell but the Ministry, through the regulator, blocked the sale.
“It will be important for us to interrogate the Ministry and the Regulator, to why the same Telecel is being allowed now to purchase it. What has happened? What has occasioned the U-Turn by the regulator and the Ministry? What does this purchase mean for the Ghanaian customers of Vodafone? What does it mean for the workers, the Ghanain staff who are currently working for Vodafone? Will this lead to redundancy? What is the severance package if there will be redundancy?”
The Ranking member of the Parliamentary Select Committee on Communications, further said the committee has not been officially told about the approval of the sale.
He said “We will need to have a clearer understanding. The Parliamentary Select Committee which represents the people and has the oversight responsibility of the Ministry and the Regulator, we have not been officially told anything, we are completely in the dark on this. We will be demanding answers on behalf of the Ghanaian people from the Ministry and the Regulator.”
On Monday, January 16, the National Communications Authority (NCA) announced that it has granted conditional approval for the transfer of 70 per cent Majority Shares in Ghana Telecommunications Company Limited (Vodafone Ghana) held by Vodafone International Holdings B.X to Telecel Group subject to concessions made by the Seller and representations made by the Buyer to the NCA.
It would be recalled that in January 2022 the NCA received an application from Vodafone Ghana for the transfer of 70 per cent of its majority shares held by the Seller to the Buyer.
In accordance with due process, the authority said it evaluated the application on various criteria and engaged both Vodafone Ghana and the buyer.
The NCA said it concluded that the request did not meet the regulatory threshold for approval to be granted.
Following the NCA’s decision, the buyer resubmitted a revised financial and technical proposal in December 2022 which demonstrated the needed capital investment to extend the deployment of 4G and launch innovative Fintech solutions.
“The NCA found the revised proposals provided more clarity and certainty in terms of the funding required for the acquisition and the commitments from both the Seller and the Buyer,” a statement said.
It added that ” in addition, the buyer has strengthened the overall governance and management team and made a firm commitment towards meeting the regulatory requirements of the NCA.
“Based on the above, the NCA confirms that the revised proposal from the Buyer now meets the regulatory threshold and hence has granted a conditional approval for the transfer of shares to the Buyer including submissions of strategies for employee retention.”