General News of Tuesday, 23 October 2018
The Minister of Communication, Mrs Ursula Owusu-Ekuful, has said the various suits filed against the implementation of the Common Monitoring Platform were sponsored.
At the launch of the KelniGVG revenue assurance and monitoring platform on Monday, 22 October 2018 in Accra, Mrs Owusu-Ekuful reiterated that: “There was never an intention to infringe on the privacy of citizens’ communication through the common platform” as “put out by so-called think tanks and civil society organisations which led to some even sponsoring lawsuits against the Common Platform”.
“The injunction application was thrown out thankfully by the High Court which indicated that they were borne out of fanciful fears.
“They have finally heeded the wisdom of sound counsel and discontinued all other lawsuits against the platform without liberty to apply”, Mrs Owusu-Ekuful said.
She used the opportunity to “urge all mobile network operators to cooperate with the NCA and GVG and provide the information they need to monitor mobile money as well”, adding: “We welcome all comments and suggestions that will improve upon the implementation of the Common Platform but hope that it will be based on proven facts and not be the figment of over-reactive imaginations and more fanciful fears”.
“Our only motivation is to provide an objective means of verifying the information provided by the telecom companies for tax revenue purposes, in accordance with the law. For the first time in history, this platform is actually connected with the billing loads of all telecom operators as we speak. Ghana Beyond Aid will become a reality if we all pay our due and properly access taxes to finalise our own development.”
Kelni GVG was contracted by the government to develop and oversee the Common Platform for traffic monitoring, revenue assurance and mobile money monitoring.
The implementation of the Common Platform is in line with the Communication Service Tax (Amendment) Act, 2013, Act 864.
A lot of the criticism of the deal, which is costing Ghana $89 million, has come from think tank IMANI Afric, which raised privacy concerns and questioned the company’s credibility.
IMANI Africa recently withdraw a court case it filed against the implementation with reason that it lacked funds to continue the suit.
In a statement released on Monday, 22 October 2018, IMANI said it “remains resolute in its pursuit of the public interest”, adding that: “Even where resources limit its preferred approach to public interest work, it continues to mobilise public opinion and to look for alternative avenues for redress compatible with its limited means. IMANI never backs down on principles!”