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BusinessUrsula Owusu explains why govt awarded 5G contract to a-week-old company

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Ursula Owusu explains why govt awarded 5G contract to a-week-old company

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The Minister of Communications and Digitalisation, Ursula Owusu-Ekuful, has offered a rationale for the Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo administration’s decision to grant the contract for implementing a 5G network in Ghana to NextGen InfraCo Limited, a company established just one week prior.

Prominent Ghanaians, including investigative journalist Manasseh Azure Awuni, have voiced concerns regarding the contract awarded to NextGen InfraCo.

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Awuni pointed out that the company was incorporated only a week before President Akufo-Addo granted executive approval for the deal, which is valued at hundreds of millions of dollars.

He raised issues regarding transparency and fairness, as the contract was awarded through sole sourcing without allowing companies with extensive experience in the sector to submit bids.

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During a press briefing in Accra on Thursday, May 30, 2024, Ursula Owusu-Ekuful confirmed the agreement and indicated that it was granted on the basis of merit.

She clarified that NextGen was specifically established for the implementation of the 5G network in Ghana because no existing “neutral” company within the country had the capability to undertake such a project.

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“This is a special purpose vehicle, and once the government decided that we would use a neutral infrastructure company to deliver this service, there was no existing neutral infrastructure company capable of delivering it at the moment.

“So, it had to be specifically formed for the purpose of delivering this service, based on the strategic policies and decisions of the government, and it is borne out of our experiences, which is why we chose not to auction it,” she said.

Watch her remarks in the video below:

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