Posted on: www.dailyguideghana.com
By William Yaw Owusu
Friday May 18, 2018
Pressure group OccupyGhana has put pressure on the Bank of Ghana (BoG) to release for public perusal the two contracts regarding the national switch to make mobile money payments and other transfers interoperable (i.e. link to each other) in the banking and financial system.
The first contract, worth a whopping GH¢4.6 billion, was signed during the erstwhile Mahama-led National Democratic Congress (NDC) administration between the BoG and a private firm - Sibton Switch Systems Limited - believed to have been led by Roland Agambire of rLG fame.
The second contract, signed under President Akufo-Addo’s New Patriotic Party (NPP) administration, was between the central bank and theGhana Interbank Payment and Settlement Systems (GhIPSS) at the cost of cost GH¢18.4 million.
The NPP government has been able to complete the same project with only GH¢18.4 million, according to Vice President Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia. Mahama’s NDC government was going to use GH¢4.6 billion but the contract was terminated.
A letter sent to the Governor of BoG with copies to the vice president and the chief of staff maintained, “OccupyGhana respectfully writes to formally request for copies of contract documents and agreements between the Bank of Ghana (BoG) and Sibton Switch Systems Limited in relation to the Mobile Money Interoperability contract abrogated by the current Government of Ghana.
“We specifically require documents relating to and surrounding the termination of the Sibton Contract.” We additionally, request to be furnished with all relevant documents pertaining to the new contract signed with the Ghana Interbank Payment and Settlement Systems Limited (GhIPSS) to execute the Mobile Money Interoperability project.”
Kwaku Segbefia, who d signed the letter on behalf of OccupyGhana, said members were further requesting for all related tender documents and legal opinions obtained by the central bank in relation to the two contracts.
They said they were asking the documents under “the enshrined citizens’ Right to Information under Article 21 of the 1992 Republican Constitution.”
Under the project, Sibton was to raise the funds and develop the project by earning a percentage of fees over a 25-year period to cover the $1.2 billion price tag plus return on investment.
However, the price for a simple gateway and ledger for a few billing engines at over $1.2 billion has been described by many as one of the ‘craziest, most ridiculous scams hatched’ on the government of Ghana by some experts.
A former deputy Governor of the Bank of Ghana (BoG), Dr. Johnson P. Asiama, has been defending the ‘dodgy’ GH¢4.6 billion contract.