<![CDATA[[caption id="attachment_123227" align="aligncenter" width="300"] Mrs. Ursula Owusu-Ekuful speaking at the event[/caption] The Minister for Communications, Ursula Owusu-Ekuful, has handed over the e-Government Infrastructure to Lebara Ghana Ltd to manage and commercialise for 10 years. The government fibre and LTE network was previously managed by the National Information Technology Agency (NITA). Speaking at the handover event, Mrs Owusu-Ekuful indicated that government is committed to partnership with the private sector to promote efficiency and cost effectiveness in the delivery of services to the people. She indicated that the commercialisation of the e-Government infrastructure will also pave the way for NITA to focus on its core mandate as a regulator whilst ensuring the effective management of the government’s IT infrastructure by a private firm. The sector minister indicated that the award of the contract to Lebara Ghana Ltd is in line with the government’s agenda to promote local content into the management of strategic areas in the economy. “I think that it’s increasingly becoming evident that NITA cannot be regulator and operator at the same time if it is going to do its work effectively,” she said. Mrs. Owusu-Ekuful, however, cautioned Lebara that government will demand accountability and strict compliance with the quality of service standards outlined in the Service Level Agreement with Lebara Ghana Ltd and urged them to work diligently . She again called on the management of Lebara Ghana Ltd to explore opportunities to launch solutions that will narrow the digital divide and promote financial inclusion. Mrs. Owusu-Ekuful was hopeful that, the “unconnected” parts of the country will be “connected” shortly through the Rural Telephony Project and the accelerated back bone and last mile connectivity programmes of the Ministry, to be able to deliver services to every Ghanaian in every part of the country. She expressed confidence in the ability of Lebara to execute the O&M task and while having no doubt about their capacity to deliver, she would be keeping a close eye on them. The Minister was confident that the two parties could work together to deliver services to current and potential clients in a mutually beneficial way . The Board Chairman of Lebara Ghana Ltd, David Amankwah, thanked the Minister, the staff of both the Ministry and NITA and reiterated Lebara Ghana’s commitment to ensuring that their stewardship would be a resounding success to the benefit of all Ghanaians.