Ursula Owusu Running From Accountability On $89 million Kelni GVG Deal

The Minister of Communications, Ursula Owusu-Ekuful The Minister of Communications, Ursula Owusu-Ekuful

Parliament is expected to be exciting today as the Speaker of the House, Prof Aaron Mike Oquaye, has ordered the Minister of Communications, Ursula Owusu-Ekuful, to be present and render account on the controversial US$89 million Kelni GVG deal.

The minister is reporter to have failed on three occasions to be in the House to answer question on the transaction meant to monitor revenue mobilization from mobile telecommunication companies operating in the country.

The powerful Mrs. Owusu-Ekuful was nowhere to be found in parliament on Wednesday, August 5, 2020, when she was billed to provide answers to some questions on the $89 million deal which she brokered.

The Member of Parliament (MP) for Ningo-Prampra, Samuel Nartey George, had posed some questions to the Communications Minister on the incremental revenue the state has accrued since Kelni GVG was engaged.

Mr George, also wanted to know from the minister, the status of the national data center after the communication agreement.

Whereas the question on the Kelni GVG was dated November 15, 2019, the question on the Data Centre, was dated November 13, 2019.

This means for over nine months now, Parliament has been waiting for the Minister of Communications, has been waiting for Ursula Owusu-Ekuful to answer the questions.

But, Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, the Majority Leader, told the Speaker that his colleague cannot be located.

"I have been trying to locate the Minister. Unfortunately, I have not been able to touch base with her.She could come, and when she comes, we may vary the order of business and allow the Minister to come and respond to the questions," he said.

Muntaka Mubarak, Minority Chief Whip, protested that the minister's non-appearance is untenable. He, however, expressed worry over Ursula's behavior, adding that "even the answers have not been provided."

"I don't want to impugn wrong motive to say it is deliberate and the minister is avoiding to answer these questions. We have a responsibility as a house to get ministers to be accountable.

"Mr Speaker, this is the third time… Mr Speaker, I hope you give the right directive so that the minister will come and answer these questions necessarily without further delay."

Prof Aaron Mike Oquaye, stated that the Communications Minister, had earlier in a letter dated August 3, 2020, requested to be absent from the proceedings of the House.

But the Speaker, indicated that despite her absence from the House, the question posed on the controversial Kelni GVG deal, still remains unanswered.

He, however, directed that the minister had a 48-hour ultimatum to show up on the floor of parliament to respond to questions relating to the Kelni GVG contract.

"To cut a long story short, I direct that the minister must answer all the relevant questions and make herself available on Friday," he said.

Source: www.theheraldghana.com