Ghana’s parliament on Thursday ratified an agreement under which 70 per cent of state-owned Ghana Telecom (GT) would be sold to mobile phone giant Vodafone for US$900 million.
The four hours of heated debate saw parliament sharply divided between the ruling New Patriotic Party on one side and the opposition led by the National Democratic Congress on the other side. The deal was approved a majority vote of 124 to 74.
Kwadwo Baah-Wiredu, Minister for Finance, described the deal as one on the best that would inject capital to salvage the company.
However, the opposition said it lacked transparency and was a give away price, as it has handed over GT’s fixed line, mobile phone and fibre optics to Vodafone.
The media has been dominated for several weeks by reactions to the proposal to sell the shares and a group of opposition politicians has filed a writ at the Accra High Court seeking to torpedo the deal.
The government said with the ratification of the agreement, the technical experts of the two sides would now meet to finalise it within one month.
The government needs the money to prop up the economy which has been feeling the pressure of the rising food and oil prices. Inflation has been climbing, the currency has been losing ground very fast, and prices of items have also been rising.