General News of Saturday, 26 May 2018
Deputy Communications Minister George Andah says the campaign being waged by policy think tank IMANI on the controversial KelniGVG contract is premised on misinformation.
Or better still he is convinced the group may have been “motivated to do what they are doing.”
Challenging the claims by policy think tank that KelniGVG is not fit to provide the services for which they have been contracted, Andah said “IMANI is not God,” suggesting the information IMANI is putting out is not sacrosanct.
Speaking on Joy FM’s news analysis program Newsfile, Saturday, the Deputy Minister said the government followed due process of law in contracting the company to provide four services, including revenue monitoring assurance, fraud and monitoring of mobile money operations.
Providing a background of the issue, Andah said in 2009, the Electronic Communication Act 2009 was passed, part of which instituted a 19 cent per minute charge on international calls.
The law also imposed on government a responsibility to monitor the call traffic as well as ensure a “real-time” revenue monitoring system of the telcos.
On the basis of the law, the erstwhile National Democratic Congress government contracted Subah to provide revenue assurance services and traffic monitoring.
However, George Andah said Subah failed to provide real-time monitoring services which would have given government up to the minute information on the traffic and revenues of the telcos.
Rather it was relying on Call Data Records (CDRs) which is provided by the Telcos to the NCA and which could easily be manipulated by the telcos.
In essence, Andah suggested Subah was being paid for no work done for which reason the NPP government had to abrogate the contract and appoint KelniGVG.
IMANI, the biggest critics of the $89 million deal with KelniGVG said the contract signed with the company did not make business sense and was not in the interest of the country.
President of IMANI Franklin Cudjoe had said there was no point in appointing a company to provide revenue monitoring and assurance services when government cannot be assured of the amount of revenue it would get from the company.
He likened the contract arrangement to a man on a “fishing expedition” who could not be assured of a catch at sea.
He added the $89 million contract was not value for money and challenged the government to provide detailed information on the state of affairs with Subah and Afriwave, the companies appointed by the previous government to provide the same services with KelniGVG is providing now.
Franklin Cudjoe did not understand why the new company would be given 1.5 million every month when indeed they were doing pretty much the same thing that Subah was doing.
But the Deputy Minister of Communication insists there is value for money in this new transaction.
According to him, the two vendors appointed by the NDC-Subah and Afriwave- were paid $2.6million a month for providing call traffic and revenue monitoring services.
However, KelniGVG is being paid almost 50% less what the two companies were paid and yet was providing additional services including the mobile money monitoring.
He said preliminary information suggests that the mobile money industry is worth 35 billion cedis which is almost 20% of Ghana’s entire economy for which reason the industry must be clearly monitored.