MTN Ghana has, on the same day government named it as the significant market power, reacted to the news saying it has not received any official communications from government.
The company said it has noted media reports concerning a decision by the National Communications Authority (NCA) to implement specific policies to ensure a level-playing field for all network operators within the telecommunications industry.
“MTN Ghana respects the NCA’s purview to regulate the telecommunication sector in Ghana based on legislation and best practices. However, MTN Ghana has not yet received the formal notification from the regulator and awaits this to assess the details,” it said.
The company said until then, it will refrain from making any public statements or comments on the matter.
MTN however reassured its cherished shareholders and customers that its commitment to the delivery of a bold new digital world in Ghana remains intact and they can count on MTN’s continued investment in infrastructure and innovative products and services.
“MTN Ghana is focused on providing the enabling technology to support Ghana’s digital economy and drive productivity, particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic,” the statement said.
The statement said MTN Ghana is a responsible market leader in a highly competitive market, adding “We remain an ethical business committed to its regulatory obligations while striving to deliver on its belief that everyone deserves the benefits of a modern connected life.”
Since the announcement of plans to correct the imbalance in the telecoms market, there have been a number of criticisms of the policy as an unfair and illogical move to curtail the growth of a company that believed in Ghana and invested heavily.
Some say the policy is simply illogical, while others say it will discourage other investors from coming to Ghana and showing the kind of commitment that MTN had showed.
Indeed, some argue that no multinational has really made the kind of investments in Ghana as they do in other countries yet, so if this is how Ghana treats companies like MTN, who are gradually getting there, then the many others considering coming to Ghana will back off.
The critics also say MTN is a massive employer, huge taxpayer (only tax on profit payer among telcos) and its operations impact the bottomline of loads of businesses in Ghana so curtailing the growth of MTN can have negative ripple effect on the economy.
But the government’s position is that in the past, long before MTN came to Ghana, Ghana Telecom (now Vodafone) and Mobitel (now Tigo) were also named SMPs at different points when it became necessary to correct the imbalance in the market and those companies and their dependents did not collapse, neither did the economy. Indeed, those moves then, did not stop MTN from coming into the Ghana market.
Again, government noted that the policy, which is based on law, is not punitive but rather corrective, as the law clearly states that it is based on what the dominant player can do and not what it has done wrong.