Fallout at NCA over US$89 million GVGKelni contract
By Nana Appiah Acquaye, Accra, Ghana
The ongoing impasse over the Communications Ministry’s controversial US$ 89 million deal with Global Voice Group (GVG)Kelni within the Ghanaian telecoms industry is reported to have sparked debate within the telecoms regulator, the National Communications Authority (NCA).
Information available to Biztechafrica indicates that some members of the Board of Directors of the National Communications Authority chaired by the former President of the Ghana Telecommunications Chamber, Kwaku Sakyi Addo, are refusing to accept the contract agreement with GVGKelni.
This development, industry observers including the President of IMANI Africa Franklin Cudjoe believes has led to the resignation of one board member, Susan-Barbera Adjorkor Boye Kumapley.
Mr. Cudjoe is confident that more members of the NCA board may resign should the Ghanaian government goes ahead to maintain GVGKelni within the telecoms space.
GVGKelni was contracted last year December, 2017 by the government of Ghana through the Ministry of Communication with a mandate to monitor not only all mobile money transactions on the various platforms both on each network and between networks in an attempt to curb the incidence of simbox fraud within telcos in the country, but also help in monitoring the Mobile Money Interoperability system, which was recently launched by the Vice President Mahumumd Bawumia and operated by the Ghana Interbank Payment and Settlement Systems Limited (GhIPSS).
Per the deal KelniGVG will be paid a monthly fee of US$ 1.5 million over a five-year period, beginning 30 days after execution of the contract.
The Deputy Minister of Communication, George Andah, said in an interview with a local radio station in Accra that he is of view that government will make more revenues with the coming into force with the GVGKelni deal: “If government focuses on monitoring calls alone [ with GVGKelni,] it could make a conservative $700m over five years,” he said. But if new monitoring territories like mobile money operations are also included, government "could easily be making a billion dollars," he said.
Imani Africa’s President still maintains that the contract is a “careless duplication of jobs and a needless drain on the country’s scarce resources and that Ghana independently will make that revenue of $1bn (GHC 4.6bn) and more over the next 5 years without GVGKelni.