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General News of Tuesday, 6 February 2001

Source: Joy Online

Tsatsu Tsikata Denies Fleeing From Ghana

Mr Tsatsu Tsikata, the former Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana National Petroleum Company (GNPC), says unlike what has been reported in the private media, he is still living in Ghana and has not run away as suggested.

He added that recent editions of the Chronicle newspaper have once again began to incite the public and the government against him with a barrage of falsehoods and unjustified insinuations. He added that at a time when the newspaper hit the newsstands with a FrontPage banner headline "Has Anyone seen Tsatsu?" he was in the country and perfectly visible.

He also described as false, various claims made by the paper that the company passed on huge levels of to the country while he was Chief Executive. He also denied a Chronicle report that he is the owner of a plush property in Houston as false and that he has always challenge the newspaper to provide verification of these claims which they have been peddling to incite anger and hatred against him.

On reports that he had "propositioned" to buy out the stake of Western Wireless in Westel with a Consortium purported to be led by himself, Mr Tsikata said that he is aware of efforts to misrepresent certain facts about GNPC's participation in Westel to circles of the new government.

He explained that GNPC helped bring in Western Wireless as a partner to establish the second national telecommunications network under a memorandum of understanding to which the partners agreed among other things, to use the VSAT system of GNPC for effective deployment of a second national network.

He however added that after facing several problems, Western Wireless International signalled its desire to discontinue their investment. It was then that GNPC began discussions to buy them out, and bring in another operator with a commitment on Africa, who will be keen to comply with the licence obligations of a minimum number of fixed telephone lines within a specific period, and not just be interested in a mobile network.

He stated that the GNPC stake in Westel is an extremely valuable corporate and national asset and that media campaigns will no doubt be orchestrated to create misconceptions in the minds of the government and the public. He added that he hopes that there will be dispassionate assessments of the facts and issues devoid of the personalisations that have been the trademark of a few.