Stop Making Startimes First Priority – Omane Boamah Tells Gov’t
Former Communications minister Dr. Edward Omane Boamaha has has accused the Akufo-Addo administration of engaging in unfair trade practices with its tax waiver for StarTimes.
In a statement, Dr. Omane Boamah, who headed the ministry for five years, urged the ministry to “Immediately ensure mutually beneficial engagements with all stakeholders in order to recalibrate the pathway for the DTT process;
“Publish any agreements entered into with StarTimes on the 300 Villages project; and if none exists, take urgent steps to ensure appropriate regulatory oversight without providing undue advantage to StarTimes which is already an actor in Ghanaian broadcasting.
The Chinese company has secured a deal with government that will see it extend satellite TV to over 300 villages across the country.
StarTimes involvement in Ghana
The government first signed a $95 million deal with the StarTimes to supply and install the Digital Terrestrial Television network platform for Ghana in 2012.
But the contract with Startimes was later abrogated over the failure of the company to secure the necessary funding from the China Exim Bank to execute the project.
The government then awarded the digital migration contract to K-Net, a Ghanaian-owned company.
As K-Net worked on the project, StarTimes sued the government of Ghana claiming an unfair abrogation of their contract with the State.
Communication Minister Defence:
Communications Minister Ursula Owusu Ekuful is being accused of speaking so vociferously on behalf of the Chinese government than she is doing for Ghana her motherland.
Mrs Ursula Owusu-Ekuful in a statement said the public is confusing issues on the digital infrastructure and its satellite programme to extend digital TV to 300 communities which Startimes is actually running.
The minister said she will work with various industry stakeholders to ensure a cost-effective digital infrastructure is built, even as the minority in parliament and other stakeholders are against the deal.