The Member of Parliament for Cape Coast North Constituency, Dr. Kwamena Minta Nyarku has expressed worry and disappointment over the contradictory answers provided by the Communications and Digitilisation Ministry regarding telephony connectivity in his constituency.
According to him, the answers he received last year and the answers he has received this year are very contradictory and disturbing to him. Somewhere last year, Dr. Nyarku rose to ask a question on the floor of Parliament “Mr. Speaker, I rise to ask the Communications and Digitization Ministry, the plans the ministry has towards erecting a mast to improve communications challenges in the following communities in the Cape Coast North Constituency: Asenadze, Menpesem, Ekoo, Kukwado and Effutu Mampong catchment areas?”
The Ministry in its answer as read by Hon Ama Pomaa Boateng, the Deputy Minister of Communications and Digitalisation, she said “Mr. Speaker, three communities: Asenadze, Brimsu Apewosika and Efutu have connectivity with Vodafone. The remaining communities are not captured in the Ghana Rural Telephony and Digital Inclusion Project (GRTDIP). GIFEC would consider them for inclusion in phase two of the project”.
Afterwards, the Cape Coast North Member of Parliament drew the minister’s attention to the fact that, since inhabitants in those areas use different telephony networks and is only Vodafone which is operating, what plans are there for the ministry to ensure that the residents have access to other telephony mobile providers such as MTN, Airtel etc.
To this, the Deputy Minister responded that “GIFEC provides these network connectivities where the mobile networks operaters would normally not go. GIFEC comes to these areas and there are a number of checklist to go through. Vodafone was covering these areas and if there were challenges, GIFEC would come and do the assessment and make sure that there is connectivity in these communities. For now, we’ve to wait for Phase two where GIFEC would have to come in and support your communities”, the minister assured Dr. Minta Nyarku.
Thursday 20th July, 2023, Cape Coast North Constituency MP repeated the same question on the floor to the ministry and had a shockingly completely different answer. “Mr. Speaker the Ghana Investments Fund for Electronic Communication (GIFEC) currently has no plans to erect masts in the communities mentioned in the Cape Coast North Constituency as they are not included in the GRTDIP. A connectivity drive test exercise will however be conducted by GIFEC in the Mempesem, Asenadze, Nyamebekyere, Ekoo, Brimsu Apewosika, Effutu Kukwaado and Efutu Mampong catchment areas in the Cape Coast North Constituency to facilitate their inclusion in future phases of the GRTDIP, finances permitting”, she indicated.
Again, the minister added “Airteltigo, now AT has 22 operating sites in the Cape Coast Metropolis providing both 2G and 3G services. AT plans to roll out a site in Brimsu Apewosika this year to extend network coverage there”, she stressed.
It is with this current answer from the ministry that has taken the Cape Coast North MP, Ragga as he is affectionately called aback. He is questioning why the Ministry would offer different answers for the same question asked by the same MP within a year.
Dr. Minta Nyarku finds the contradictory answers disturbing and thinks that such postures from duty bearers make it appear as if MPs aren’t putting the concerns of the constituents before authorities for redress. “How can a ministry give contradictory answers in the house of records? Such attitudes from those in government is an affront to democracy and good governance”, he stated.