Ghana won’t license new telecom operators

telecomsThe Ghana government has decided not to license new telecom operators to safeguard the integrity of the industry, Mr. Haruna Iddrisu, Minister of Communications said on Wednesday.

“Government has no intentions of adding a new telecom player to the six players in the Ghanaian market,” he said at the inauguration of the refurbished Head Office building of Millicom Ghana Limited, operators of Tigo in Accra.

He stressed that the decision was to ensure that the integrity of the market was not compromised.

Mr. Iddrisu noted that telecom and mobile telecom in particular was a key driver of the country’s development, saying that as at the close of the first quarter of the year, (March 2009), 67 per cent of the 22 million Ghanaians owned and used mobile phone numbers, representing an increase of 13 per cent over the record of December 2008, which stood at 54 per cent.

He observed that in response to the call by the government for telecom operators to print their scratch cards in Ghana, some of the operators were currently doing so, saying “we will like to further urged Tigo to explore that opportunity too”.

Mr. Iddrisu assured the operators that in line with President Evans Atta Mills promise of a transparent and consultative government, the ruling National Democratic Congress, would continue to engage industry players in every major policy decisions regarding the industry.

The minister recalled the recently announced fiscal stability levy slapped on corporate organisations in the country, saying that within a matter of a year the tax would be removed to allow the companies to operate in a friendlier environment.

“It is our policy to encourage corporate social responsibility and so immediately we achieve the necessarily fiscal stability, we will remove the levy to free more money for you to carry out your social responsibility activities,” he said.

Source: GNA

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