Glo, government risk contempt of court in KelniGVG deal implementation

Business News of Monday, 28 May 2018

Source: adomonline.com

2018-05-28

Deputy Minister for Communications, George Andah

A number of letters available to Adom News indicate Ministry of Communications (MOC), Ministry of Finance (MOF), National Communications Authority (NCA), Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA), Glomobile and KelniGVG may be risking contempt of court for implementing the controversial US$178.9 million revenue monitoring deal.

Glo Mobile has allowed KelniGVG to connect to their system on the instructions of the NCA, in spite of an injunction Subah Infosolutions Limited has secured against the implementation of the deal.

Way back in January 19, 2018, barely a month after the KelniGVG deal was approved, lawyers for Subah, Oseawuo Chambers and Co. wrote to all the telcos informing them of an interlocutory injunction it had secured on the implementation of the deal against NCA and GRA.

Subah filed the injunction on the implementation pending the determination of a case it filed in court with NCA and GRA as respondent, challenging why its April 10, 2015 contract for revenue assurance was cancelled and replaced with the KelniGVG deal.

But five months after that injunction notice, NCA wrote to the telcos on May 16, 2018, telling them to ignore Subah’s injunction notice and cooperate with KelniGVG for the implementation by close of this month.

In the NCA’s letter, it stated that it sought a stay of execution on Subah’s injunction and the court dismissed it, but it had filed another application for stay of execution, and by law that gives Subah’s injunction of no effect.

But in a letter dated May 24, 2018 (just four days ago), the lawyers for Subah, also wrote and warned the telcos that until the stay of execution is granted the injunction is still in force so if they implemented the KelniGVG deal they risked a legal challenge.

In spite of that Glo Mobile has allowed KelniGVG to connect its monitoring equipment to its systems, ready to start monitoring by the close of this month, as per the contract requirement.

Meanwhile, the Ghana Telecoms Chamber said Glo, which is not a member of the Chamber, MOC, MOF, GRA, NCA and KelniGVG are in contempt of court, and the other telcos will not risk falling into the same trap until the court cases are determined.

The Chamber has also said that the architecture design of the KelniGVG that chamber members have seen indicate that they will be risking the data security and privacy of their customers if they allowed KelniGVG to connect to their systems.

Meanwhile, on December 22, 2017, when the Central Tender Review Committee gave MOC approval to sign a deal with KelniGVG, it cautioned them in paragraph 5 of that letter that there was an existing petition against the project so they (MOC) should be mindful of it.

Apparently, following the CTRC approval on Friday, December 22, 2017, MOC allegedly rushed the contract through the weekend and Christmas holidays, between Saturday December 23 and Boxing Day, December 26, 2017 and signed a full contract December 27, 2017.

While KelniGVG is yet to connect to all telcos and start real time monitoring, it has been paid US$7.5 million already, which Deputy Minister of Communications George Andah said was part of the six-month building process, as the deal is a BOT (build, operate and transfer) one.

The Minister insists the deal has great value for money because government is getting four services – revenue assurance, fraud management, mobile money monitoring and real time traffic monitoring for less than what the previous government paid for only two services.

He said the vendor is also required to refresh the equipment every three years over the ten year period, train Ghanaians and hand over to t them after ten years, something that was not in the previous contracts.

George Andah insisted that by the close of the contract period, they expect to have used $178.9million to gain not less that a billion dollars for the state.

Meanwhile, pressure group, IMANI Ghana and other civil society groups are up in arms against the deal, calling it unnecessary, wasteful, fraudulent and a mirage because there are no guarantees any incremental revenue will be realized through the monitoring exercise.

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