The Ministry of Communications has provided clarity to what it describes as “a litany of misinformation” from policy think tank IMANI Africa, which accused the ministry of engaging in “telcom regulation abuse and possible waste of financial resource”.
Concerns of IMANI
IMANI had demanded to know why GVG/Kelni, a company they claim is of Haitian origin, has been awarded a USD 89,473,500 contract to design, develop and implement a common platform for traffic monitoring, revenue assurance, mobile money monitoring and fraud management when Subah Infosolutions and Afriwave had already been contracted to do the same thing.
They alleged both Subah and Afriwave were essentially doing the same thing but sanctioned by two different state institutions without clear guidelines on how to co-operate, and it was unclear how the systems would be treated independently or the data that they handled.
In the estimation of IMANI, at least GHC 75 million was collected by Subah Infosolutions for very little work done, although subsequently Subah was able to install its infrastructure and utilize its platform to monitor telco network data for the GRA.
IMANI also sought to know what work has already gone into the creation of the Common Monitoring Platform (CMP) till date, and what value it has added or accrued to the state in terms of revenue to justify the amount they are sinking into the project.
Justification of Ministry of Communication
In what the ministry called “setting the record straight”, it acknowledged that Subah Infosolutions was contracted by GRA in 2010, to oversee the tax revenue monitoring activities from the Telcos and Afriwave was also licensed in 2016 by NCA, to among other things provide an interconnect clearing house in monitoring both domestic and international traffic volumes.
It explained that the NPP administration spearheaded a stakeholder forum in 2017 where after presentations where made “it became clear there was duplication of efforts by both Subah and Afriwave while none of them was providing the real time traffic monitoring solution required for effective revenue assurance in this sector”.
The ministry admitted “The government of Ghana was also paying both entities essentially for no work done”.
KelniGVG and due process
According to the statement, the ministry in accordance with the laws of the country procured a new player to do the job Afriwave and Subah Infosolutions could not do.
“A new procurement process was launched, sanctioned by the MoC and MoF, in accordance with the law, to select a suitable vendor to meet the requirements defined by the NCA and GRA and in December 2017, the contract was awarded to a Ghanaian entity, duly registered under the laws of the Republic of Ghana called KelniGVG Limited. KelniGVG was initially incorporated in October 1995”, portions of the statement reads.
It has further stated that the current implementation of the common platform has resulted in monthly savings of over US$1.1 million to the State as figures quoted indicate that the Subah and Afriwave deal cost a total of $2,591,462.20 whereas that of KelniGVG costs $1,491,225.00.
“It must be made clear that the MoC and the MoF jointly collaborated on all the processes and signed a new contract for the implementation of the Common Platform in accordance with their procurement guidelines and the provisions of the Law”, it added.
The statement dismissed IMANI’s allegation of duplication explaining that “prior to this new arrangement, all relevant stakeholders were made aware of the fact that previous contractors’ services, namely that of Subah Infosolutions and Afriwave relating to traffic and revenue assurance monitoring were in effect, TERMINATED. There can therefore be no duplication as alleged by Imani”.
The ministry therefore assured the public that the selection of KelniGVG was done with due diligence and that value for money will be ensured.
“The contractual obligations of the parties are clearly defined. KelniGVG has issued a performance bond to demonstrate its commitment to deliver the Solution to meet the requirements of the Implementing Agencies (GRA and NCA). Under the BUILD, OPERATE, MANAGE and TRANSFER model, the contract signed has a clear roadmap and deliverables. The installation of the Common Platform is in progress and the Central Monitoring System is fully equipped. The Installation is expected to be operational before the end of July 2018”.
By P.D Wedam|3news.com|Ghana