Ghana’s Business Day newspaper quotes the Minister of Trade and Industry, Hanna S Tetteh, as saying that Ghanaian start-up Glo Mobile Ghana is ‘free to do business in Ghana’, hopefully ending long running speculation on its Nigerian parent, Globacom’s, future in the country. In May this year Nigeria-based Globacom which is itself majority owned by Nigerian petrochemical firm Conpetro, a venture of the entrepreneur Mike Adenuga, threatened to exit Ghana in the face of what it termed ‘interests’ seemingly hell-bent on sabotaging its nationwide launch plans. At the time an unnamed source claimed that since Glo Mobile was awarded its GSM frequencies by the National Communications Authority (NCA), it has faced obstacles in terms of seeking approval for the swift deployment of its base stations, an encroachment on the frequencies it was awarded by the NCA and the repeated vandalism of its advertising billboards.
However, the minister has told Business Day that all obstacles to the telco’s operation in Ghana have now been removed. ‘To the best of my knowledge from the communications authorities, there were two issues with regards to Glo. The frequency that they were assigned to was not available because it was being partially used by the national security apparatus. But that frequency has been available to them since January, and so at the moment if they want to start their business it is possible for them to do so,’ she said. Tetteh also went on to clarify the issue of Glo’s problems in securing permits to erect telecoms towers. ‘There was no ban on Glo,’ she said. ‘As at last year, we put a ban on the erection of new telephone masts. We did this because of the quality of the infrastructure and the hazardous way they were being put up in all sorts of locations.’ As such the minister claims the ban was on the industry as a whole and not designed to single out the would-be newcomer.