General News of Tuesday, 15 May 2018
The Government has hit back at the former deputy Governor of the Bank of Ghana (BoG) Dr. Johnson Asiama over claims that the previous management of the Central Bank committed only ¢300,000.00 to Sibton Switch Systems to execute the controversial Mobile Money Interoperability platform.
Addressing a press conference Monday, Dr. Asiama described as false disclosures by the Vice President Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia that the Central Bank was willing to expend ¢4.6billion into the switch to the Interoperability platform.
Speaking at the launch of the platform last week Dr. Bawumia divulged that the deal was executed for less than $4 million, a huge reduction from the proposed ¢4.6 billion under the previous administration—a claim Dr. Asiama labelled as disingenuous.
“The…point has to do with the figures that are being bandied around. That’s where I think there are too many controversies, needless controversies that are avoidable,” he said,
He added: “The fact is that the original contract that Sibtons was going to do had a scope and if you read the RFP you will see it clearly. What they were going to do which helped them to win the contract at the time was that the Bank of Ghana was not going to pay any money whatsoever…not a dime, government was not going to pay anything.
“This was solely going to be paid for by them (Sibton) according to the proposal that they submitted. If there was any outlay at all the Bank of Ghana was going to make, we have provided for about ¢300.000.00.”
But reacting to the statement at a press conference, the deputy Information Minister, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah questioned the basis of Dr. Asiama’s claims, dismissing it as untenable.
According to him, the argument that the two platforms are operating on a different scope holds no water.
“The claim that is being made that the actual cost of the project is 300,000.00 is untenable. The fact is that the Government of Ghana in that old transaction was literally asked to stay behind and that makes matters more suspicious,” he stated.
The previous administration, he said acting through the Bank of Ghana “agreed that the company Sibtons should charge the users of the platform” and that arrangement was that the company should charge $1.2billion.
“That’s essentially what they did,” he stressed.