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Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Globacom: Ghanaian govt denies pull-out threat

Ghanaian telecommunications regulator, the National Communications Authority (NCA) has denied knowledge of the threat by the Nigeria’s second national operator, Globacom Limited to pull out of the country.

NCA said that it has not received any official report from Globacom over the alleged destruction of its properties and installations in the country, which is actually stalling its roll-out commercially.

It was reported in the media that Glo’s installations in Ghana comprising of properties, equipments and investments, such as billboards and lack of relevant support for the acquisition of land for installation of infrastructure like base stations and even stolen of some already on ground.

However, confirming this to Business Champion at the weekend, Director, Regulatory Administration at the National Communications Authority (NCA), Mr. Joshua K. Peprah said that Globacom has not officially served any notice of withdrawal from the Ghanaian telecom market, despite the recent media reports on the threat to pull out of the market.

“… I can tell you that Glo has not served any notice of withdrawal from this market to the NCA,” he said.

Mr. Peprah also revealed that National Communications Authority (NCA), has gone a step further to invite Globacom for discussion, so as to iron things out.

“However, the NCA has invited the Chairman and his team for further discussions on this,” he said, pointing out that the invitation was extended to Globacom since the beginning of last week and discussion when eventually they respond, would dwell on those allegations as reported in the media across the sub-region would form part of the agenda.

“Invitation was extended to Glo since beginning of this (last) week. Discussions would be on those allegations in the press, etc, since we have nothing official from Glo,” he said.

In a related development, some media reports alleged in Ghana that Glo’s plan to casualize employees, was actually a key source of face off with those purportedly destroying Globacom’s installations.

Efforts to get Globacom’s official reactions on both the invitation by NCA among others were yet to get response as at press time. But a source close to Mike Adenuga Towers, the headquarters of the telecom giant, informed that the allegation of casualization is not all that true as Glo does not indulge in such practices.

“If Glo is not casualising staff in Nigeria, why should it think of such in Ghana,” our source wondered.

Meanwhile, some of the allegations of destruction of Glo’s installations in Ghana comprising its properties, equipments and investments including billboards and lack of relevant support for the acquisition of land for installation of infrastructure, such as base station and even stolen of
some already on ground.

Additionally, the reports alleged that in February, about 15 light boxes mounted from the Airport Traffic Light median to the Opeibea House Traffic Light were destroyed with the flexi material used on both sides of the units torn.

Just as one of the Glo brand marks mounted in Accra was also destroyed about a month ago, while estimated 16 light boxes installed by Glo from the King Tackie Tawiah Overpass to Busy Internet were also vandalized.

“Every single unit, with materials made from top grade flexi was defaced with shape objects, suspected to be a knife or a razor blade,” the source said. “It was curious that light boxes belonging to another telecom operator deployed within the same stretch continuing from Busy Internet to the Kwame Nkrumah Circle were left unscathed,” he said. In December last year, some people were apprehended and handed to the police while they were attempting to sabotage a Glo mast located at the Baatsona area of Accra,” part of the reports stated.

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