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‘Nullify Stinky $178m KelniGVG Contract’

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A group calling itself Integrity Assurance Ghana, has implored government to terminate what it describes as a “stinky” deal with KelniGVG.

Executive Director of the group, Sulemana Issifu, indicated in a statement on Tuesday, 29 May 2018, “One thing that is sufficiently clear in the contract is that KelniGVG has nothing to lose: they are winning at every stage of the contract whereas Ghana is put at a very tight corner. IMANI has the full backing of many Ghanaians and CSOs including the IAA in its war to see to the recession of this stinky deal. We call on the president to intervene and ensure that this contract is abrogated immediately.”

Among other things, Integrity Assurance Ghana explained that the contract which is not self-financing will place a burden on the coffers of the state, asserting that the payment should have been a percentage of revenue generated as a result of the KelniGVG work.

Policy think tank, IMANI, who first raised red flags about the deal, has questioned the rationale behind the contract with KelniGVG, describing it as wasteful and aimed at milking the public purse. According to the policy think tank, reasons espoused by government officials to back the deal lack financial sense except that it was premised on political thinking.

President of Imani, Franklin Cudjoe, condemned the $178million revenue assurance deal which is meant to monitor revenue in the telcos industry.

Although the government insists the deal saves the country $1.1 million a month, Mr Cudjoe wonders why the state has been paying the firm $1.5 million per month since January for “no work done”.

To Mr Cudjoe and Imani, the deal is “needless” and a rip-off.
Meanwhile, Integrity Assurance Ghana says it is in full support of Imani’s quest to ensure that the right thing is done concerning the KelniGVG agreement.

Below is the full statement:

29th May 2018

ABROGATE THE KELNIGVG CONTRACT WITH IMMEDIATE EFFECT: INTEGRITY ASSURANCE GHANA CALLS ON GOVERNMENT

We have observed with keen interest the various arguments put forth by interested persons on the KelniGVG contract with government, and we must say, the MoC’s defence so far, exposes the flaws in the stinky contract.

A contract cannot be deemed to be appropriate and important, if the question of value for money is not properly answered. This fundamental question (value for money), especially in the case of state contracts, is what gives legitimacy to any contract executed in the name and for the republic of Ghana. Unfortunately, the MoC has failed to answer this question correctly.

The Deputy Minister for Communication has consistently scampered from one justification to another all in bid to defend this stinky contract.

At one point, he sought to justify the value of the contract with how much projected revenue he thinks Ghana is likely to glean and he put the figure around $100 million but he has since abandoned that position when it was made clear to him that Ghana already makes similar amount in the absence of this stinky contract. His new argument is that this contract will seek to take real time data from telcos and says this will be the first of its kind in the history of this country. This statement rather exposes the hypocrisy of him and his minister, Ursula Owusu-Ekuful. In 2015, Madam Ursula Owusu was emphatic when the Afriwave contract came up for scrutiny in parliament that, Afriwave was doing real time monitoring and so where lies the Deputy Minister’s claim of real time monitoring for the first time in Ghana? In any case, how important is real time data to the country if there is no financial benefit to the country?

We can go on and on with the Deputy Minister’s scampering but we need to spare time to look at very pertinent issues which a lot of Ghanaians are not looking at, and that is the terms of the contract itself. When you look at the contract in question, you cannot help but to think that something is amiss and that MoC has done a great disservice to this country. Consider for instance, the following concerns about the contract:

1. the contract sum is pegged at a flat fee of $1.5 million per month. The problem with this, is that, the fee is not tied to government’s revenue as a result of the contract. What this means is that, the contract is not self-financing: how then can the MoC make a case of value for money? Why didn’t MoC rather consider paying a percentage of revenue generated as a result of the Service Provider’s (KelniGVG) work? That way, KelniGVG is paid purely based on performance and so the state coffers would have been protected.

2. in case of material breach by government which will be basis for abrogation of the contract, government will pay 50% of the monthly fee by the number of months from the date of termination up to the end of the contract. A worrying situation arising from this clause is that, the same penalty is not imposed on KelniGVG in case of a material breach on its part. As citizens citizen we ask, will operatives at MoC agree to such a clause if Ghana was their company?

3. in the contract, Ghana is obliged to pay 5% additionally in penalties should the government delay in making payment at the end of a particular month. Interestingly, KelniGVG on its part under the contract, is allowed to apply for extension of time if it senses that, it cannot meet its obligation under the performance matrix. Why is it that, government is not given same privilege in case of a genuine difficulty in payment of monthly fees? Have we become so rich as a country that we no longer care about prudence in the use of state resources or it is simply a question of deliberate use of sophistry by government operatives to fleece the country?

One thing that is sufficiently clear in the contract is that, KelniGVG has nothing to lose: they are winning at every stage of the contract whereas Ghana is put at a very tight corner. IMANI has the full backing of many Ghanaians and CSOs including the IAA in its war to see to the recession of this stinky deal. We call on the President to intervene and ensure that this contract is abrogated immediately.

Ghanaians have suffered enough at the hands of avarice-driven government officials and this marks the making of many wars on government officials who think they can take Ghanaians for granted.

Long live Ghana!

Sulemana Issifu
Executive Director
Integrity Assurance Ghana

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