Speaker of Parliament Alban S.K. Bagbin has directed the government to present the acquisition agreement of AirtelTigo to the House.
He gave the directive on Tuesday during question time in Parliament when Minister for Communications and Digitalization, Ursula Owusu-Ekuful was responding to a question that stood in the name of MP for Ningo Prampram, Samuel Nartey George.
The Ningo legislator demanded if the Minister intends to comply with Article 181(5) of the 1992 Constitution in the matter relating to the state acquisition of AirtelTigo Ghana from its parent holding company, Bharti Airtel International Netherlands B.V. and if so, when.
The government acquired 100% stake in the company last year following serious financial challenges.
Minister for Communications and Digitalisation, Ursula Owusu-Ekufful, in response to the questions, said the agreement is waiting for the input of the Attorney General before finalization.
According to her, the Ministry oversees the Telecom/ICT sector in full compliance with the laws of the land and will complete all legal and constitutional processes by the end of this meeting of Parliament for the acquisition of Airtel Tigo.
Speaker Alban Bagbin, however, directed that the agreement be brought to Parliament for scrutiny to avoid any future judgment debt.
According to him, entities that enter into agreements with the government essentially deal with the government and therefore state institutions that enter into agreements with the private sector will depend on the communications between the parties.
The engagement, he said, that will be attached to the communications will form the authentic documents for the attention of the House.
He observed that the Ministry of Finance has been directed to officially write to Parliament and attach all agreements that the Ministry has entered into with various agencies for the House to work on and yet after one year, this has not been done.
“We cannot depend on statements from these agencies as authentic documents to work with. This is a notice to the Ministry of Finance. Personally, I have called the Ministry several times but we are not getting the necessary responses.”
“Take this statement seriously. The judgement debts are becoming too many for this country and I won’t be drawn to be part of it,” he said.
Addressing the media after proceedings, Sam George accused the minister of running away from accountability.
According to the deputy ranking member for the Communications Committee, the minister is concealing vital information about the deal from the public.
The Sector Minister, however, refuted claims of the Ningo-Prampram MP and argued the agreement will only be presented to Parliament when finalized by the Finance of Ministry and the Attorney General.