Ghana official defends government deal with Vodafone

Ghana defended its decision to offload a 70% stake in the state-run telecoms firm to British mobile phone giant Vodafone, saying it was the best deal possible for the loss-making entity, an AFP report said.

The AFP report further quoted Communications Minister Benjamin Aggrey Ntim as saying that 'the offer was the best one under the circumstances.'

The deal, which values Ghana Telecom at €834 million (US$1.3 billion), has been subject to criticisms from opposition lawmakers.

But the official said the deal will 'inject the needed capital expenditure of €57 million (US$500 million) into GT to enable this company to compete competently on the telecom market in Ghana and beyond.'

Opposition parties had slammed the deal as going against national interests.

Under the deal announced on July 3, Vodafone agreed to pay €577 million (US$900 million) for a 70% stake in GT, but the opposition says the shares are grossly undervalued.