Interoperability: Gov’t Saved Over $1.1bn – Oppong-Nkrumah
The government says it has saved the country close to US$1.1 billion of the country’s scarce resources by renegotiating the contract of the mobile interoperability deal originally awarded to SIBTON.
A Deputy Minister of Information, Mr Kojo Oppong Nkrumah addressing a press conference on Tuesday said the US$1.2 billion which was the cost of executing the mobile interoperability platform under the John Mahama led government was 267 times more than the cost the current government spent in executing the same project.
Contrary to claims by some loyalists of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) and the former Second Deputy Governor of the Bank of Ghana, Dr Johnson Asiama that the SIBTON deal was wider in scope than what has now been executed, Mr Oppong Nkrumah said that cannot be true.
“The claim by Dr Asiama that the project scope of the SIBTON deal is wider than the current GHIPPS project is untenable,” he said.
He insisted the mobile interoperability platform which was launched last week by Vice President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia at a cost of $4.5 million was no different in shape or form to the one the previous government had intended to execute at a cost of $1.2 billion.
SIBTON was awarded the contract in 2016 to execute the mobile interoperability platform at a cost of GH¢4,667,414,340.82.
Two other companies- Vas Intel Limited and Mericom Solutions Limited- which bided for the same contract at significantly lesser amounts were both overlooked.
Vas Intel Limited quoted a price of GH¢14,094,795.00 while Mericom Solutions Limited quoted GH¢5,465,396.06 for the same project.
In a deal which outraged Telecom operators and Vas Intel, the company with the biggest price quote, SIBTON was surprisingly awarded the contract to build the platform that will make it possible for a seamless transfer of money across mobile networks, banks, and e-switch accounts.
Shortly after it came to power the Akufo-Addo led government supervised the execution of the mobile interoperability platform at a cost of $4.5 million.
Kojo Oppong Nkrumah said attempts by some persons to rationalize or justify the SIBTON deal are unfortunate describing the transaction as an “unjustified extortion.”
Responding to the former Deputy Governor of the Bank of Ghana, the Deputy Information Minister clarified that at no point has government linked him to the deal.
He expressed surprise at the haste with which Dr Asiamah has joined the conversation when no one has mentioned him as the architect of the SIBTON deal.
Contrary to claims by the Deputy BOG Governor, the Deputy Information Minister stated there is no EOCO report vindicating the SIBTON transaction.