Government has refuted claims by think tank IMANI Africa, that an $89 million contract between Ghana and KelniGVG is needless and a rip-off.
A statement issued by the Ministry of Communication said similar contracts between the previous government and Subah Infosolutions and Afriwave, have been terminated, and, so, there is no duplication of roles to constitute a rip-off as suggested by IMANI Africa President Franklin Cudjoe.
“The Ministry of Communications would like to assure Ghanaians that the necessary due diligence was carried out during the processes that led to the selection of KelniGVG.
“Also, prior to this new arrangement, all relevant stakeholders were made aware of the fact that previous contractors’ services, namely that of Subah Infosolutions and Afriwave relating to traffic and revenue assurance monitoring, were, in effect, TERMINATED. There can, therefore, be no duplication as alleged by IMANI,” the statement issued on Friday, 18 May 2018 and signed by Communications Minister Ursula Owusu-Ekuful, indicated.
The release further pointed out that the country is rather gaining $1.1 million monthly savings in relation to the deal with KelniGVG.
Mr Cudjoe has petitioned the Vice-President’s Office and also had conversations with the Chief of Staff with the aim of convincing them to cancel the contract for the design, development and implementation of a common platform for traffic monitoring, revenue assurance and mobile money monitoring, which, according to him, is superfluous.
He had argued that firms like Subah Infosolutions and Afriwave Telcom Ltd., were contracted to do exactly what KelniGVG has been tasked to do.
The only additional responsibility spelt out in the new contract with KelniGVG, he said, is the task to monitor the Mobile Money Interoperability system, which, according to him, is already being done by the Ghana Interbank Payment and Settlement Systems Limited (GhIPSS), a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Bank of Ghana, thus, needless, too.
But the statement said: “The KelniGVG mobile money monitoring system will monitor ALL mobile money transactions on the various platforms both on each network and between networks. The interoperability framework launched by HE the Vice-President facilitates and monitors transactions between the various operators and the banks. Between the two systems, the government will have complete visibility on total volumes and values of mobile money transactions in Ghana and derive the appropriate tax revenues from them”.
Per the KelniGVG deal signed in December 2017, the government of Ghana, according to Mr Cudjoe, will dole out a monthly payment of $1.5 million to the firm over a five-year period, beginning 30 days after execution of the contract.
To Mr Cudjoe, “This contract is no different from the ones we signed in 2010 and 2015 under Subah and Afriwave. In fact, the two contracts were supposed to do the very things that this new contract is purportedly to do; revenue assurance and check fraud. The only thing that has been added this time around is mobile money monitoring for which we have given GhIPSS $4 million to do.”
“First of all, we don’t know what work Subah did. We don’t know what work Afriwave has done. We don’t know what value they have added to the whole telecom industry for us to warrant another entity to come and repeat the same thing for the hefty sum of 89 million dollars. It is a no no no”, he told Accra-based Citi FM.