Ursula Owusu-Ekuful, Communications Minister, has told off a former Deputy Minister of Finance in the erstwhile Mahama administration, Cassiel Ato Forson for suggesting that the directives issued by her outfit to the telcos concerning upfront deductions are inappropriate, ABC News can report.
Ursula Owusu-Ekuful did not mince words in expressing her disapproval of the assertion Ato Forson sought to create with his letter.
Ato Forson, who is a ranking member of Parliament’s Finance Committee, had earlier written to the Communications Ministry, questioning the legality of a directive issued by Ursula Owusu-Ekuful, instructing Mobile Network Operators to stop upfront deductions of the Communications Service Tax.
This inquest did not go down well with the Communications as she has sternly dismissed his argument and downplayed his locus to point fingers at her in a strongly worded response to the legislator.
Ursula Owusu-Ekuful indicated that she wielded the power to issue such directives, explaining that the Electronic Communications Act gives the Minister of Communications the right to issue policy directives to the regulator in the management of the sector.
“I hold a contrary opinion fortified in the fact that the Electronic Communications Act which provides the legal basis for all Mobile Network Operators to work in this country also gives the Minister for Communications the right to issue policy directives to the regulator in the management of the Sector.
“It is that power which I exercised in issuing policy directives to regulate the manner in which customers are treated by the telecoms companies. We insist on them being treated respectfully and in a non-discriminatory manner which also provides value for their money. I’m sure you will not disagree with me on this,” the Minister explained, ABC News can report.
Ursula Owusu-Ekuful, however, urged the ranking member to go to the appropriate quarters to seek redress if he still felt that she had acted beyond her powers in the matter or have any reservations about the approach adopted by the Ministry.
“However if you feel strongly that customers do not deserve this kind of treatment you know what to do and are entitled to your opinion. Your remedy does not lie in issuing orders and instructions to me on how to do my work As the adage goes if I want lessons in good morals, I certainly will not go to a brothel for it,” she said.
The Minister stressed, “I respectfully decline your invitation as you are not the proper authority to declare what is or is not legal in this country.”
Read the Minister’s letter below: