General News of Friday, 25 May 2018
President of policy think tank IMANI says the policy decision which formed the basis for the appointment of KelniGVG to provide revenue assurance services for government is senseless.
Franklin Cudjoe insists the government cannot part with a whopping $89 million contract deal to Kelni GVG, in addition to a monthly $1.5 million to a company to provide services whose returns to the state is either negligible or non-existent.
Speaking on Asempa FM’s political talk show programme Ekosii Sen, Thursday, Mr Cudjoe said the deal with Kelni is similar to a man on a fishing expedition who sets out with no assurance of how much he is going to catch on a night.
He maintained there was no point signing a deal with Kelni when the Telcos can provide the same information the company is providing.
According to Franklin Cudjoe, the government is operating on a “jealousy analysis principle” with a suspicion that the telcos were making a huge profit but was under-declaring their revenues.
Such a policy would only make sense if the company was raking in revenues to the tune of $40 million a month, he argued, given the kind of investment government has made after it appointed the company.
Cudjoe also criticized government’s defense of the contract and punched holes into claims of monthly savings the government said it made from the Telcos as a result of the new deal.
In a statement signed by the Communications Minister Ursula Owusu Ekuful, the government said it makes at least $1.1 million of savings every month shortly after Kelni was appointed.
But Franklin Cudjoe said government’s claim is a bout of lies. He explained that Kelni did nothing special in monitoring revenues, except to rely on the same CDRs which Subah also relied on but had its contract abrogated for doing no work.
Quoting excerpts of the statement the IMANI president said a total of 1,938 calls by the Telcos were deemed to be fraudulent. With an international call costing 19 cents per minute, Cudjoe said the figure being mentioned by the government as returns was suspect.
He also challenged the decision to purchase an equipment at a cost of $68 million to be used in the monitoring of revenue, describing it as an “intrusion”.
But the Deputy Communications Minister who was also on the show said the claims by the IMANI president were inaccurate.
George Andah who until his appointment was the marketing head at MTN, said it made absolute sense for the government to want to monitor revenues in an industry worth over ¢35 billion.
He said it should be a matter interest to IMANI that government is raking in monthly benefits on account of the new contract signed with Kelni, which was not the case when Subah and Afriwave, the companies contracted by the erstwhile NDC, were in place.
According to George Andah the government went through the due process of law by using the restrictive tendering in the appointment of KelniGVG.
When he was asked how many other companies brought in bids for consideration, Andah referred Cudjoe and other critics to the Procurement Authority to acquire all the information they needed on the transaction