General News of Tuesday, 23 June 2015
Former Minister of State at the Finance Ministry, Dr. Anthony Akoto Osei, is asking former Secretary to late President Atta Mills, James Bebako Mensah, to answer questions on the ongoing saga of the GH?197million debt owed international I.T firm, Bankswitch.
Mr. Mensah, who is Ghana’s Ambassador to Vatican, and Secretary to Mills when the deal was struck is alleged to have written a letter to then Minister of Finance, Dr. Kwabena Duffour, on behalf of the late President Mills, directing Mr. Duffuor to terminate the contract awarded Bankswitch and engage GC-Net with same responsibilities.
Bankswitch had in an engagement with the late President Mills demonstrated how their valuation platform works, and promised to maximize revenue for the country’s ports.
They had in effect, been directed by the late President to be awarded a temporarily three-month contract upon which their performance would be assessed and rewarded with a much-improved deal after clashing with some state officials over their previous contract awarded them in 2007 by the Kufuor-led government.
GC-Net which contract had then been abrogated by the Kufuor-led government for failing to execute a similar responsibility is said to have written to the late President Mills moments after his engagement with Bankswitch and requested to be re-awarded with the contract given Bankswitch since they could perform the valuation task at a no cost to the state.
However, on the same day of the late President’s directive, Mr. Bebako Mensah is alleged to have written a different letter to Mr. Dufuor, directing him to consider and advise appropriately the re-engagement of GC-Net instead of Bankswitch.
Mr. Duffuor is reported to have also written to the Commissioner of the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) for advice.
That advice, according to Mr. Akoto Osei, led to Bankswitch being kicked out of operations for GC-Net to assume their role.
“Is there something fishy about the whole thing when President Mills has ordered that the company be given three months contract and that same day the President will again order for the termination of the contract and award it to another firm who claimed it could do perform that contract for free? Do you think that is possible? He should answer for the mess,” he told Kwaku Owusu Agyei on ‘Si Mi So’ on Kasapa FM.
“The Ministry of Trade can answer that question, but Mr. Bebako who is the Ambassador to Vatican and is still alive can best respond to the issue,” said Mr. Akoto Osei who is the Member of Parliament (MP) for Old Tafo and Ranking Member of the Finance Committee.