General News of Saturday, 2 September 2017
The Minister for Communications Ursula Owusu-Ekuful has strongly refuted allegations of corruption in relation to the award of the contract for the production of national identification cards.
The corruption allegations were levelled against her by Assin Central MP Kennedy Agyepong but in a statement, Mrs. Owusu-Ekuful described the allegations as scurrilous.
She challenged the controversial NPP member to provide evidence to justify his corruption allegations against her.
“I categorically refute the allegations of corruption made against me in relation to the award of the Contract for the Production of national identification cards by Mr. Kennedy Agyepong.
“They are patently false and I challenge him to come forward with evidence that corroborates his outlandish allegations.” Below is the full statement
MINISTER FOR COMMUNICATIONS’ RESPONDS TO ALLEGATIONS
I am constrained to respond to the unwarranted and scurrilous allegations levelled against me in my capacity as Minister of Communications.
These untruths have been widely and erroneously repeated in various media. I categorically refute the allegations of corruption made against me in relation to the award of the Contract for the Production of national identification cards by Mr. Kennedy Agyepong.
They are patently false and I challenge him to come forward with evidence that corroborates his outlandish allegations.
Following a comprehensive review and report by the technical and legal committees established by H.E The Vice President in January 2017, the government determined that the agreement between the National Identification Authority (NIA) and Identity Management Systems (IMS) constituted a ‘viable and effective’ vehicle for the implementation of a modern, robust and reliable National Identification System (NIS) for Ghana.
Subsequently, H.E the President formally directed the National Identification Authority to engage with IMS to ensure efficient roll out of the NID.
The falsehoods are clearly born of ignorance so it is important to clarify that the NIA is not an agency under the Ministry of Communications; that is why the directive was signed by the Chief of Staff in the office of the President.
In accordance with the law of the land, the NIA’s reporting line is directly to the Office of the President. Consequently, as the Minister of Communications, did not and could not have awarded the contract for the NID, or indeed oversee the process. It would have been ultra vires.
The ministry of Communications, alongside other agencies of government, is however a key stakeholder in the National identification project. Those others include Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT) National Information Technology Agency (NITA), Births and Death Registry, National Health Insurance Authority, Driver and Vehicle Licensing Authority amongst others.
We are thus actively in collaboration with the NIA and IMS to ensure the timely and efficient roll of the national ID card in line with the government’s agenda.
I welcome the investigations by the CID and even though I am yet to be contacted, I will cooperate with the law enforcement agencies to ascertain the truth. A strong message needs to be sent to those who deliberately disseminate disinformation.
I look forward to a swift resolution of this matter. I urge my family, friends and sympathisers, especially the good people of Ablekurna West, to remain calm. The battle remains the Lord’s but The Victory shall be ours.
Honourable Ursula Owusu-Ekuful, MP Minister for Communications 01/09/2017