Business News of Monday, 14 May 2018
Former Second Deputy Governor of the Bank of Ghana, Dr Johnson Asiama has backed a statement from his Boss, Dr Nashiru Issahaku, refuting claims suggesting that the NDC administration intended to invest a whopping GHC4.6 billion of public funds into the Mobile Money Interoperability (MMI) service during the party’s term in office.
Former Governor of the Bank of Ghana, Dr Nashiru Issahaku Monday morning released a statement, rubbishing suggestions 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).
This was after reports indicated that the MMI project initially to be rolled out by the NDC was reviewed by the ruling government, and it consequently was discovered that a less outrageous amount; 16 million, could be used for the same project. This relatively means that an amount of $1 billion of the public purse had been saved by the ruling NPP government.
In a statement dated 14th May however, the former Governor completely ruled out the allegations, describing them as false and urging Ghanaians to disregard it.
According to him, the proposed 4.6 billion proposed was an amount which was from the onset, supposed to be solely generated by the contracted company; Sibton Switch Systems and not to be taken from the public funds like claims are suggesting.
“I wish to categorically state that the claim that the Bank of Ghana (BOG), under the previous NDC regime was to commit an amount of GHC 4.6 billion of public funds into the proposed switch to interconnect mobile money transactions is totally false and should be disregarded”, parts of the statement read.
Speaking to pressmen later Monday 14th May, Mr. Asiamah dispelled the claims, maintaining that due processes were followed as far as the procurement face of the project was concerned.
“This is about the Central Bank, be rest assured that the right thing was done during the procurement face of that project. If there was any issue at all, when the new administration came in, all that he had to do was to play ball, sit with the other party and express your concerns, to try and reach some solution. If I remember, we attempted something initially”
“I asked my technical staff working on it to look at it, speak to SIBTON, whether there was any room for any change and they actually started work on that but immediately, we got the orders to stop work. The Central Bank could deal with whatever issue within its domain and we should avoid this trap of everything descending into the arena of politics”, he explained.
He also explained that the argument is misconstrued considering the fact that the proposed amount; GHC 4.6 was expected to be generated by Sibton company and not from the public coffers or the Bank of Ghana.
“That whole argument is needless at this time. More so, bear in mind that the whole GHC4.6 for which a selective tendering was conducted etc., there was nothing on us that we were going to spend any such money. What it was that the investor had projected that over a period of 15 years, it is not as though from day one they were going to spend 1 billion dollars”
“What we said again was that the charges to consumers are the ways they are going to have to recover their investment and for us, it’s within that period that they would have had to recover their investment. All that we were interested in there is that whatever system it is you build, even if it costs you so much, the charges that consumers will pay shouldn’t be more than they are paying currently. It’s inappropriate to compare an antelope and an elephant because the characteristics are different”.