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Pay us $200 million or we shall not go ?.Malaysian

2002-08-02 09:11:20

Pay us $200 million or we shall not go ?.Malaysians tell govt.

By Kwabena Menyah

At a time when President Kufuor strives to play the Mr. ?Nice Guy? in Malaysia winging and primping Malaysian businessmen around, backslapping them and seemingly telling them to forget the past and think of the future the Malaysian big guys who are behind the Ghana Telecom are smarting under a quit order.

This reporter does not know whether it is a mere co-incidence or a deliberate stunt that President Kufuor will have all doors in Malaysia open to him whilst Malaysians who paid $38 million for a 30% stake in Ghana Telecom have had the doors shut on them in their faces. Things came to a head this week when the former Malaysian Managing Director has the door to his office barricaded against him.

He refusing to budge and the IMC of Ghana Telecom refusing to shift grounds has taken their little amenities including their vehicles from them. The Malaysians led by their Managing Director are insisting that they should be paid between $160 million to $200million for their investments that have seen Ghana Telecom being transformed a useless into a viable business concern in the country. This is how the story goes:

The Malaysians Telecom acquired 30% in Ghana Telecom in 1997 for $38 million. Malaysian Telecom also paid $50 million out of $100 million towards further acquisitions for 15% shares in 2002. This offer was later withdrawn due to agitation in certain political circles. Before the participation of the Malaysian in the Telecommunication Industry, Ghana Telecom had only 78,000 lines and 200 phone booths country wide.

As at 2001 Ghana Telecom now boasts of 270,000 lines, 4,800 phone booths and 70,000 mobile phones, ?what we popularly call one-touch?. In the stand-off between the government of Ghana and the investors the Malaysians are insisting that ?yes you want us to go and yes we are prepared to go but pay us $150 million of our investment. Our sources told us the Malaysians are waiting to be paid off but before then their interest have to be represented and take issues with the politically appointed IMC.

The Managing Director and some expatriate staff had been cajoled out of their office and it is alleged that the staff and some staff members who are close to the Managing Director had been asked to go on leave. Now it looks like the proprietary rights of the Malaysians are being trampled upon without any compensation. Mr. Herbert Mensah and others who returned from a trip to Malaysia had to fall out of the Board of Ghana Telecom.

What exactly happened to the Ghana Telecom Board? Two of the government?s nominees left the Board under mysterious circumstances culminating in the formation of an IMC which also did not reflect the voice of the various share-holders. What signals are we sending outside to investors?

[This is an authentic posting from (Registered User)]
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