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Business News of Saturday, 19 May 2018


Mobile Money Interoperability: I buy GhIPSS argument – Baako

Editor-In-Chief of the New Crusading Guide newspaper has charged parties locked up in the Mobile Money interoperability contracts to release the necessary documents for citizens to appreciate.

Abdul Malik Kweku Baako said although he supports the argument of engaging a local company to do the job, it would be unfair to conclude without having the benefit of all the facts.

“If we have a local entity we can empower to undertake this project, that’s a preferable option. I am persuaded by that argument,” Mr Baako told the host of News analysis show, Newsfile, Samson Lardy Anyenini on Joy FM/JoyNews TV, Saturday.

He added that the entire conversation will be presumptuous if the commentators do not have all information on the contracts.

Mr Baako cited a letter from pressure group OccupyGhana which demanded documents from the contract between Sibton Switch Systems and the Bank of Ghana (BoG) and that of Ghana Interbank Payment and Settlement Systems Limited (GhIPSS).

Government terminated a contract between BoG and foreign-based company Sibton to provide mobile money interoperability for Ghana. The company was to be paid GH¢4.5 billion over 25 years.

Vice President Mahamudu Bawumia recently stated that the government through GhIPSS executed the project for as low as $4.5 million but former BoG Governor, Dr Johnson Asiama has rebuffed this claim.

Amidst the back and forth, OccupyGhana written formally to the Office of the Vice President requesting for copies of contract documents and agreements between the Central Bank and Sibton Switch Systems Limited.

The group "specifically require documents relating to and surrounding the termination of the Sibton Contract," it said.

"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,” OccupyGhana demanded.

The defunct contract between BoG and Sibton is said to be in the region of GH¢4.5 billion while the new contract with GhIPSS is to cost the taxpayer some $4.6 million.

But Mr Baako argued that these figures do not justify any of the deals without the appraiser being privy to the terms of the two deals.

“In order for our discussion to be fair and equitable we need to relate them to the project we are talking about,” he added.