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General News of Sunday, 20 May 2018

Source: citinewsroom.com

Andah clashes with IMANI boss over $89m telecom deal

A Deputy Communications Minister, George Andah, wants IMANI President, Franklin Cudjoe to admit his think tank goofed in its scathing assessment of the contract with KelniGVG for the provision of oversight and revenue assurance monitoring.

He argued that there were streaks of ignorance in IMANI’s arguments against the $89 million deal.

“It’s okay for people to get things wrong sometimes. It is a sign of humility. It is a sign of professionalism to say that I got this wrong. On the policy point, he [Frankling Cudjoe] has got this thing wrong. He doesn’t understand the policy. He hasn’t taken time to read the policy,” Mr Andah said on The Big Issue.

Mr Andah, as an example, noted the IMANI’s argument that KelniGVG would duplicating function already carried out by the Ghana Interbank Payment and Settlement Systems Limited was flawed.

“He [Franklin Cudjoe] is talking about GhIPSS [Ghana Interbank Payment and Settlement Systems Limited], and that is there, and GhIPSS should be able to do the monitoring. Again, total ignorance. It is ignorance in the matter. He said GhIPSS can do the monitoring of mobile money and I am saying that is ignorant on the matter because GhIPSS’ capability is only for off-net transactions, and you and I know that 70 to 80 percent of their activity happens on-net.”

Mr. Andah also assured that there were no major concerns from Ghana’s telecommunications company’s despite IMANI’s assertions.

“The first point that they keep on making is that we are not against the principle of establishing a common monitoring platform and that we are doing everything to make sure that this is happening. There is no resistance from any telco. There is absolutely no resistance from any telcos. There are certain concerns about security and privacy, and at the meeting on Thursday, we gave them every assurance.”

IMANI Africa first sounded an alarm over the details of the deal and called for its immediate termination.

Franklin Cudjoe argued that the deal mirrored the controversial deals the state entered into with Subah Infosolutions and Afriwave Telcom Ltd in 2010 and 2016 respectively.

But in a statement issued and signed by Communications Ministry, the government said this deal is instead providing significant savings for the state for even more work done than in past deals.



The Communications Ministry also assured that it carried out due diligence on the matter and that “a lot of care was taken not to repeat the mistakes of the past.”

Subah Infosolutions and Afriwave Telcom Ltd were said to have been paid millions of cedis for no significant output.