General News of Thursday, 31 May 2018
The Minister of Communications, Ursula Owusu-Ekuful, insists the $178.8 million deal struck between the National Communications Authority (NCA) and Kelni-GVG followed due process.
“There has been absolutely no corruption or underhand dealings in this transaction,” she said.
“I can never be party to any such conduct as I value my reputation and the reputation of the government which serves the good people of Ghana.”
Mrs Owusu-Ekuful, who is also Member of Parliament for Ablekuma West Constituency, stated these on Thursday when he made a statement about the deal on the floor of Parliament.
There have been public disapproval of the deal – led by think-tank IMANI-Ghana – over the seeming duplication of the content vis-à-vis that of contracts with Subah Infosolutions and Afriwave.
Founding President of IMANI Ghana Franklin Cudjoe on Tuesday, May 22 even clashed with a Deputy Minister of Communications, George Nenyi Andah, on TV3‘s New Day over the issue.
But the sector minister told MPs that the contract with Kelni-GVG was to implement the Communications Service Tax Act of 2013, Act 864, to the letter.
According to her, the need for a new body to monitor traffic real-time was even necessitated more intensely by the Electronic Communications Act, Act 910.
“Up until now, there has not been any real-time capturing of traffic volumes either by GVG, Subah or Afriwave Ghana Limited,” she noted.
She said a stakeholders’ meeting last year chaired by Senior Minister Yaw Osafo Maafo agreed, unanimously, that the NCA implement a common platform, which led to the engagement of Kelni-GVG after procurement processes were completed.
“Mr. Speaker, this contract will be for an initial period of five years renewable for another five years’ subject to certain conditions being met.
“Key among these conditions is satisfactory performance by Kelni-GVG Limited, cost effectiveness of maintaining the solutions and the services provided and the capacity in terms of technical resources of Kelni-GVG Limited to continue providing the requisite services.
“The Common Platform will therefore be evaluated continuously to ensure that it remains fit for purpose.”
She said even though there is a deliberate attempt by some figures to impugn the integrity of Kelni-GVG, government will be undaunted as it attempts to “safeguard revenues that ought to accrue to the state”.
The Communications Minister assured all especially companies doing business in the communications sector that “we are not against big business”.
“We, however, take a dim view of those who will flout our laws with impunity and expect all our corporate citizens to pay their due just as they would in their countries of origin.”