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General News of Sunday, 20 April 2014

Source: myradiogoldlive

Free Zones Boss justifies abrogation Bankswitch contract

Chief Executive of the Ghana Free Zones Board, Mr. Kojo Twum Boafo, has supported government's decision to abrogate a contract with Bankswitch Ghana Limited in 2010.

That decision has resulted in a ruling by the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) in The Hague, Netherlands, requesting the government of Ghana to award the IT firm a whopping GHc197.4 million in judgment debt.

But Mr. Twum Boafo, who is also a key figure in the governing National Democratic Congress (NDC), says the state had every right to do what it did four years ago.

His reason hinged on what he described as a "shrouded" deal that was signed between the New Patriotic Party (NPP) administration and Bankswitch Ghana Limited in 2005.

The deal was signed on behalf of government by Dr. Anthony Akoto Osei, who was then Minister of state at the Finance Ministry, for the construction of a system to facilitate clearing of goods at Ghana's ports.

The contract was for the management of a platform for the revenue mobilisation programme of the Customs Division of the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA).

Mr. Twum Boafo said, "I fully support the decision that my ex-boss [Ms. Hannah Tetteh] took (to terminate the contract) because, sometimes the people of this country and those who are put in authority need to stand up for what is right. And on that occasion, Madam Hannah Tetteh stood up for what is right".

He said this on Radio Gold's "Alhaji and Alhaji" news analysis programme on Saturday.

"She stood up for this country because 600,000 Ghana cedis every month was going to be paid for some...company for services we didn't know [about]", he added.

Bankswitch filed a case before the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague for the payment of Ghc853 million in damages for the cancellation of the contract in 2007.

The court, however, reduced the claims by about Ghc600 million and awarded damages of GHc197.4 million against the state.

The contract, according to the Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Mrs. Marietta Brew Appiah-Oppong, was signed at a time the State already had a contract with GCNET and a number of Destination Inspection Companies (DICs) performing the same functions for which Bankswitch was contracted to perform.

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