Supplementary payments swell Bankswitch award to $110 million
A month after winning a whopping GH¢197,401,872 million ($88m) judgment debt from the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) in a case of wrongful abrogation of contract, Bankswitch Ghana (BG) is pushing for some additional payments which are expected to increase government’s overall liability to the company.
The supplementary payments or add-ons, which are said to be part of the terms of the judgment delivered by The Hague-based court on April 11,2014, would add GH¢34,545,327.95 to the original award thus, bringing government’s total indebtedness to GH¢231,947,201 ($110m), the Centre for Investigative Reporting Ghana (CIRGHA) has revealed.
The additional GH¢34,545,327.95 being sought by the company is meant to cover VAT and NHIL payments which, per the directives of the court, are to be calculated on the award and paid to Bankswitch by the government of Ghana, CIRGHA has further revealed.
In a letter filed to the Attorney-General and Minister for Justice by its lawyers — Bentsi-Encnill, Letsa and Ankomah — BG is also insisting that interests be calculated on the award from “12th April, 2014 until the date of final payment, as well as VAT and NHIL on any interest accrued…,” a situation which would see a further spike in government’s liability to the company.
The letter, which was sighted by CIRGHA, was copied to the Chief of Staff, Office of the President, the Minister of Finance and Economic Planning, the Accountant-General, Accountant-General’s Department, the Executive Secretary, Revenue Agencies and Governing Board and the Commissioner-General, Ghana Revenue Authority.
In its ruling earlier this month, the PCA upheld claims by Bankswitch Ghana that its contract to manage the Ghana Customs Secure Document Management System (GCSDMS) was wrongfully abrogated by the government of Ghana and subsequently awarded Bankswitch Ghana one of the largest settlements in the history of the court, to compensate for their loss.
Until 2012, Bankswitch Ghana was the lead agency in the implementation of Ghana’s first fully integrated electronic platform employed in the processing of imports at die ports.
However, the issue of the legality of the contract awarded to Bankswitch Ghana is currently before the Supreme Court of Ghana.
In a suit brought against a consortium of companies led by Bankswitch Ghana, Dr. Clement Apaak, who is adamant that Bankswitch is entitled to any such claim, is praying the , Supreme Court of Ghana to declare the purported contract null and void on the basis that it (contract) lacked parliamentary approval pursuant to Article 181 (5) of the 1992 Constitution.
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