Pressure group, OccupyGhana, is demanding from the Bank of Ghana (BoG), copies of all documents and agreements regarding the Mobile Money (MoMo) Interoperability contract which was initiated under the erstwhile National Democratic Congress (NDC) administration, but subsequently abrogated by the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) government after their coming into power.
In a statement dated May 16 and copied to the Office of the President, the Finance Ministry and the Chief of Staff, they listed documents including those between the Bank of Ghana (BoG) and Sibton Switch Systems Limited specifically, documents relating to and surrounding the termination of the Sibton Contract, documents pertaining to the new contract signed with GHIPPS to execute the MoMo Interoperability project and all related tender documents and legal opinions obtained by the Central Bank in relation to both parties; Sibton Switch and GhiPSS as those to be provided by the Central Bank.
The group has also given BoG “not more than 14 calendar days after the date of issuance of this letter” to produce the requested documents in accordance with the Right to Information under Article 21 of the 1992 Ghana Constitution.
Their request follows the brouhaha surrounding government’s newly introduced Mobile Money Interoperability service to provide seamless transfer of funds from one wallet to another across all networks.
Claims emerging after the launch of the service by Vice President Dr. Bawumia on Friday May 11 suggested that the NDC as part of efforts to enable the MMI service under its administration, contracted Sibton Switch Systems company to set up the system at GHC4.6 billion, which would be managed by the Ghana Interbank Payment and Settlement Systems (GhIPSS).
Former Governor and Deputy Governors of the Bank of Ghana, Dr Nashiru Issahaku and Dr. Johnson Asiama, following the reports, rubbished the claims, maintaining that the Central Bank followed due processes were followed as far as the procurement face of the project was concerned and that the bank did the appropriate thing as far as securing the contract and laying of its terms was concerned.
Mr. Asiama particularly said he had been involved in the entire process and that the GHC4.6 billion amount which was being projected by the NPP was false.
The ruling NPP Government has subsequently hit back at them through the Ministry of Information, rubbishing the spirited defence put up by a former deputy Governor of the Bank of Ghana (BoG), Dr Johnson P. Asiama.
Deputy Minister of Information, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, at a news conference in Accra on Tuesday, insisted that the Akufo-Addo-led government saved the country from “unjustified extortion” by the erstwhile Mahama administration by re-awarding the contract to the Ghana Interbank Payment and Settlement Systems (GhIPSS).
He said had the Mahama government won the election on December 7, 2016, it was going to use GH¢4.6 billion for the project but the Akufo-Addo administration has been able to complete the same project with only GH¢18.4 million, adding, “This government saved the country over $1.2 billion.”
Story: Freeman AWLESU KORYEKPOR