GHANA: ONE DIAL STILL AWAITS LICENSE FROM NCA TO ROLL OUT US$400M TELECOM INVESTMENT
One Dial Communications Limited, a network service provider based in the United States is still waiting a license from the National Communications Authority (NCA) to roll out over $400 million investment into the telecommunication industry since it applied for license in 2003. No reasons have so far been given for not granting One Dial the license to operate as a telecommunication company in Ghana. A further $1 billion investment would be brought in after the first phase of the investment is successful.
According to Mr. Bing Aidoo, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of One Dial, this investment would create Information Technology (IT) villages comparable to that of the Silicon Valley in California at specific locations in the country to attract companies from within and without the country to cite ICT and other ICT related industries. The company has identified two areas where their investment would go.
The IT Triangular Metropolitan Area, which comprises areas between Cape Coast, Mankessim and Denkyira, would form the " Silicon Valley" for the southern portion of the country, whiles that for the northern half would be located around the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) to be linked with the KNUST as it exists in California between their university and the Silicon Valley.
The CEO stated that there was a similar proposal for Takoradi and its environs. The project, although not started, has already attracted many companies from the USA, Canada, Europe and China.
He noted that delays and uncertainty in the enforcement of the LI on opening up the industry to private investment passed by parliament is hampering the smooth implementation of the project. He said, "The NCA has received our application and hoped they would process it as soon as possible for us to start work". It is however noted that these delays are making the financial backers of One Dial hesitant about investing into the country.
Aidoo said Nigerians fought for the investment but could not succeed, as most of the technicians involved are Ghanaians. They have however cautioned that with these delays, the company might be forced to move into Nigeria.
Dr. Kwabena Riverson, a Sprint top telecommunication engineer in the US and George Baiden, One Dial telecommunication engineer, are some of the numerous Ghanaians in the US who are involved with the project. "They are coming down to help the country grow".
The country director of the company, Ms. Love Bello, said One Dial's entry into Ghana would create lots of opportunities in terms of employment, development of skills by Ghanaians and taxes to the nation. She therefore urged that Ghana could not afford to let this opportunity pass by. She reiterated that their investment in the country's telecommunication industry is to facilitate communications between individuals, companies and countries to foster improved communication and commerce.