Deputy Communications Minister, George Andah has said that the need to release information on the work done so far by KelniGVG depends on whether or not those in charge find it suitable to do so.
His comment was in response to the two-week ultimatum given by the Ranking Member on the Finance Committee of Parliament, Cassiel Ato Forson, requesting from the Ghana Revenue Authority a detailed comparative data on KelniGVG’s revenue assurance and mobile money monitoring.
But speaking on Eyewitness News, Mr. Andah gave indications that the two main bodies responsible for information on the contract will make available any data if they deem right.
“I believe that the implementers of this common monitoring platform are the National Communications Authority and the Ghana Revenue Authority. I am not aware that either the NCA or the GRA have complained about the level of service or otherwise of the vendor as far as the management of this common platform is concerned. It is indeed his right to ask for that information and I believe that if the Authority believes that what he is asking for is in the right direction, the information will be provided to him. “
Provide information or face me in court
In his letter written to the GRA, Mr. Forson noted that since the inception of the contract in October 2018, “Ghanaians, including Parliamentarians, have not been provided with information on the success or otherwise of this project.”
According to him, this was worrying because it pointed towards “weak post-evaluation mechanisms” and “ethical and credibility concerns in dealing with Telcos”, hence government risks meeting him in court if it fails to provide the data within his time given.
He also said he was particularly interested in knowing if the exercise has resulted in any significant revenue increase for government “to warrant such huge payments to Messrs KelniGVG.”
He added this was even more relevant given the recent increase in the Communications Service Tax from 6 percent to 9 percent to “supposedly fund cybersecurity projects and the national budget.”
“Considering the projected additional tax revenue from the 3 percent increase in CST of GHc 190 million, one wonders if the KelniGVG project is discontinued, there wouldn’t e enough savings to reduce the magnitude of increase in the CST to lessen the burden on the citizenry.”
KelniGVG was given a contract worth $89 million to implement the Common Platform for revenue monitoring.
The implementation of the Common Platform is in line with the Communication Service Tax (Amendment) Act, 2013, Act 864.
The deal was the subject of criticism with some noting that it mirrored the controversial agreements the state entered into with Subah Infosolutions and Afriwave Telcom Ltd in 2010 and 2016 respectively.
It was the subject of a petition to CHRAJ and a lawsuit at the Supreme Court.
There were also suggestions of corruption in which the Communications Minister, Ursula Owusu-Ekuful, refuted.