On December 1, Ghanaians woke up to be ushered into the new and blessed month to not only obscene data charge, but one that is cut-throat.
Ghana has one of the highest data charge in Africa. Communication, whichever form is very expensive in this country.
It could be argued and rightly so that, with the over 70percent telecommunication penetration, one will have expected that, it would push prices down, but no, in Ghana the more things change, the more they remain the same.
Kofi Kapito, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Consumer Protection Agency (CPA), for over ten years now, has been the lead advocate in protecting the rights of the consumer.
When he came up with the idea to establish CPA in Ghana, it was a welcome news, because for a very long time, consumers have been taken for granted.
Consumers thought for the first time, someone cares and is out to protect their interest. But despite the effort and the advocacy, Kofi Kapito’s effort has failed to yield the desired results.
The rip-off is experienced everywhere, from the banking sector, to the market, as well as supermarkets, some with the inscription in today’s world saying, “Goods sold are not returnable, but the industry that has been the worst of all is the telecommunication industry.
We are now all addicted to our mobile devices, in Ghana, it is difficult to find someone subscribing to only one network. Some subscribe to all the telecommunication providers.
Mobile phone, has made communication easy, it has become the wheel on which businesses run these days. Telecommunication companies all over the world are change drivers, it is no wonder about five of the world richest people on earth are into telecommunication.
Online shopping and online business is the new trend, internet has become the fastest tool of getting people out of poverty.
One cannot be said to be doing business and expanding beyond his or her borders without the use of internet.
As a very important factor of production in today’s world, it is imperative that, the cost should not be beyond the reach of many people.
Students need internet to study, marketers need it, accountants need it, doctors need it etc, in fact no industry or profession, can function well without internet.
In the light of this, Kofi Kapito, in my estimation, only had one job to do, and it is to advocate for not only cheap internet, but competitive one.
In Ghana, price does not signify quality, because the higher we pay for internet with the expectation that, we will get quality and efficient service, the more it gets slower to access the web.
Kofi Kapito, has lost his voice on consumer protection issues. Since December 1, when consumers started experiencing the vanishing of their data and credit, I expected to hear him, play the lead advocate in not only getting the service providers to sit up, but to be sanctioned.
If you think or you have ever thought that Kofi Kapito, would be the harbinger of the desired change in the protection of the consumer, you definitely need a rethink.
Thereafter, if you still believe such, it is best you go to bed, sleep, and activate dream mode! There is little difference between him and the service providers now! Trying to decipher the difference between them, is akin to trying to find the distinction between six and half a dozen! Nomenclature is proving to be the main differing factor.
Kofi Kapito, until now was the lone voice fighting for the right of consumers. But like everything and everyone in Ghana, at some point when you mouth is full, you want to observe table manners.
My disappointment and outrage is that, you do not start something with us and abandon us in the middle of the sea.
There is a saying among our people that, the food of the dead, you do not stop eating midway, you have to eat till the end.
Kofi Kapito, after his encounter with Serwaa Amirhere, it seems has bitten more than he can chew. Some meat is not only hard, but it is very bitter.
As we say in Ghana, who say man no dey.
An innocuous statement he made about Serwaa in the Ghanaian context is what had taken the man’s voice away.
In Ghana, we objectify women, we can easily pat them on the buttocks or squeeze their breast, including even hugging married women. As for describing their body in a sexual way, we are all guilty as charged.
Kofi Kapito, took advantage of that, and commented on the buttocks of Serwaa, and that has unfortunately set the man up for oblivion.
Kofi to err is human, we the consumers of telecommunication in Ghana, have forgiven you, we will plead with Serwaa on your behalf to also forgive you, please we need you back in the saddle.
Kofi Kapito, your silence is deafening, our situation now, does not call for such loud silence.
The rumours could well be true that, you are in the pocket of some of these organizations. I have deliberately decided not to mention the name of any company, because in Ghana, all the companies are guilty of taking their customers for granted. From the banking sector, to institutions of learning, to shops and the worst culprits being the telecommunication companies.
Next time, please before you speak, remember the Four Way Test scripted by Herbert J. Taylor an American from Chicago, which has been adopted by Rotarians world-wide as a moral code.
Is it the truth?
Is it fair to all concerned?
Will it build goodwill and better friendships?
Will it be beneficial to all concerned?
I don’t think Kofi Kapito is someone who will run away from a fight.