Key public officials that played a role in the initial GHc 4.6 billion mobile money interoperability contract signed between the Bank of Ghana (BoG), and Sibton Switch Systems Limited must be rounded up and hurled before a public investigative committee, a retired army chief, Captain Budu Koomson, has stated.
He stressed that radical measures are needed to discourage such professional malpractice and corruption.Speaking on The Big Issue, Captain Budu Koomson stressed that discrepancy in GHc 4.6 billion cedis and the GHc 20 million that it cost for the Ghana Interbank Payment and Settlement Systems (GHIPSS) to take charge of the project was too large to ignore.
“If you have a tender process for one job to be done and you have such huge discrepancies, it raises such alarm bells. My question here is that: are we going to interrogate the public officials who were going to commit Ghana to this thing. I would suggest that you bring them to a public investigative forum and televise it.”
“We have to get to a stage where public officials are interrogated publically and maybe publically shamed so that it will be a deterrent… we should be able to disqualify some people professionally in Ghana and disgrace them publically otherwise; this is not going to stop,” Captain Budu Koomson said.
This GHc 4.6 billion figure was especially egregious to Captain Budu Koomson because of the about of borrowing Ghana engages in on other continents.
“We were going to burden the economy with this thing and we keep on begging. We go and beg for $200 million and $8 million and go and dash $1 billion and people think we are crazy.”
OccupyGhana demands transparency
Pressure group Occupy Ghana has written to the Office of the Vice President and the BoG requesting for details of the contract signed between the BoG and Sibton Switch Systems Limited.
In January 2017, the issue of mobile money interoperability came to the fore when telecom operators kicked against moves by the central bank to impose on them a third-party company to implement the interoperability.
The BoG is said to have contracted Sibton Switch Systems to act as the switch for the cross-network mobile money transactions, with additional cost implications for both consumers and the telcos.
It was later discovered that the company’s GHc 4.6 billion price tag was the most expensive among the companies that bid for the project.
According to the tender documents seen by Citi News while the Sibton Switch Systems’ bid for amounted to GHc 4.6 billion, two offers in the contract totalled to GHc 14 million and GHc 5.4 million from Vals Intel Limited and Mericom Solutions Limited respectively.
The company argued that the BoG, which regulates the mobile money operations of the telcos, will however not be funding any part of the tender as it is planning to build, operate and own the system.
The Sibtons Switch deal later however abandoned after the dissatisfaction it caused among stakeholders and industry players.
By: Delali Adogla-Bessa/citinewsroom.com/Ghana
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