General News of Thursday, 31 May 2018
Minister of Communications, Ursula Owusu-Ekuful, has rubbished claims by IMANI Africa that the $89 million GVG/Kelni deal is “needless” and a rip-off.
According to her, the deal is the “best” the country could get.
President of IMANI, Franklin Cudjoe has criticised the deal saying it does not serve the interest of the taxpayer.
He petitioned the Vice-President’s Office and also had conversations with the Chief of Staff with the aim of convincing them to cancel the contract for the design, development and implementation of a common platform for traffic monitoring, revenue assurance and mobile money monitoring, which, according to him, is superfluous.
Mr Cudjoe argues that firms like Subah Infosolutions and Afriwave Telcom Ltd., were contracted to do exactly what GVG/Kelni has been tasked to do.
But responding to this in a statement before parliament on Thursday, 31 May 2018, Mrs Owusu-Ekuful said: “This is not a duplication of any existing contract. No other system or company is currently providing this service. The mobile money interoperability platform of GhIPPS monitors transactions between two or more telcos and the banks but does not monitor transactions on one network. The CMP does so.”
In reaction to another allegation that per the GVG/Kelni deal signed in December 2017, the government of Ghana has been and will continue to dole out a monthly payment of $1.5 million to the firm over a five-year period, beginning 30 days after execution of the contract, she said: “We are not paying for no work done.”
The MP for Ablekuma West explained that: “Neither the NCA nor the GRA currently has the capability of providing this service and have indicated so. The CMP will provide real-time monitoring of all traffic volumes on all networks as has never happened before; it is currently conducting anti-fraud testing as envisaged; the Network Operations Centre has been set up, connected and equipped with hardware and software. Everything is ready for all operators to be connected and they were notified on 11 May 2018. They have one month from this date to connect, failing which the requisite sanctions will be applied in accordance with the law; training of NCA/GRA personnel is ongoing. A team just returned from training in Spain. All deliverables and timelines under the contract have been met to date.”
Touching on reports that a board member of the NCA had resigned over the issue, Mrs Owusu-Ekuful said: “No NCA Board Member has resigned because of this contract.”
She further clarified that: “There is no 10-year contract worth $178milion. There is a five-year $89million contract which may be renewed subject to stated conditions being fulfilled. This is far better than the $150 million plus we paid for the past five years for very little value.”
She also noted that Kelni-GVG is not a foreign company. “It is a joint venture between a Ghanaian company registered in 1995 with experience in Electrical Engineering, IT solutions and systems in addition to other business interests, and GVG which has 20 years’ experience in telecoms revenue assurance and IT solutions. They do have a website and their office is in Labone, not Osu or Kokomlemle.”
The lawmaker continued that there is an exit clause in the agreement if Kelni/GVG are in material breach of their obligations under the contract and their performance is deemed unsatisfactory.
She stressed: “There have been absolutely no corruption or underhand dealings in this transaction. 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. I stand here as a Minister of the Akufo-Addo administration to assure this august house that I believe this is the best deal we could have got.”