Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia
An Accra-based radio station, Citi 97.3 FM, has appealed to Vice President Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia to launch an investigation into a contract awarded by the Bank of Ghana (BoG) to SIBTON Switch Systems for the creation of the country’s Retail Payment Infrastructure System.
The Retail Payment Infrastructure contract, which was awarded by the Central Bank in 2016, is valued at a whopping GH¢4,667,414,340.82.
Under the said contract – which has been described by many experts in the industry as unnecessary and shady – Sibton Switch Systems Limited, a company reportedly formed in August 2015, would run a system to make banks, mobile money platforms and other payment systems interoperable.
Two other entities that bid for the same contract – Vas Intel Limited and Mericom Solutions Limited – submitted tender amounts and packages worth GH¢14,094,795.00 and GH¢5,465,396.06 respectively, according to reports.
In the petition signed by Bernard Koku Avle, Director of News Programming at Citi 97.3 FM, the radio station urged the vice president to determine “whether the procurement processes that led to the award of the contract to Sibton followed the provisions of the Public Procurement Act, 2003 (Act 663); and ascertain if the contract, as it exists, offers value for money for Ghana and conforms to international best practice.”
“We further respectfully urge that if the contract is found not to be in accord with any or all of the above, that you initiate processes to terminate it and then engage with industry players on the best way to achieve interoperability for the sector, including the consideration of giving GHIPSS first offer for any of such system, if so determined,” the petition indicated.
By Melvin Tarlue