Parliament invites Ursula Owusu over $89m Kelni GVG contract

BY: Musah Yahya Jafaru
Minister of Communications, Mrs Ursula Owusu-Ekuful
Minister of Communications, Mrs Ursula Owusu-Ekuful

Parliament has invited the Minister of Communications, Mrs Ursula Owusu-Ekuful, to come and brief the House on the terms of the $89 million contract awarded to Kelni GVG to deal with revenue losses and simbox fraud in the telecommunications sector.

The First Deputy Speaker, Mr Alban Bagbin, ordered the Business Committee of Parliament to schedule an appropriate day next week for the Minister to brief the House following a request by the Member of Parliament for North Tongu, Mr Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa.

Mr Ablakwa said the $89 million contract awarded to Kelni GVG had gained currency with civil society organisations and wondered why Parliament was not exercising its oversight responsibility over the matter.

He said it was important for the Minister of Communications to brief the House on the matter.

The First Deputy Majority Whip, Mr Mathew Nyindam, said the Committee on Communications had scheduled to meet the Minister of Communications next week Tuesday.

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The contract has gained currency in the media following the indication that the National Communications Authority (NCA) was against the contract.

The President of IMANI Africa, Mr Franklin Cudjoe, has in several media engagements stressed that the $89 million contract was a careless duplication of jobs and a needless drain on the country’s scarce resources.

He was of the view that Subah and Afriwave were awarded similar contracts under the National Democratic Congress (NDC) administration to perform similar jobs, even though both contracts were needless.

Speaker's order

Giving the order, Mr Bagbin said the Committee of Communications should suspend its scheduled meeting with the Minister of Communications and rather allow the Minister to brief the whole House on the matter.

"It is important that this is brought to the knowledge of the people of this country through their representatives on the floor of the House.

"I don't think the committee should rather take it up because we have not developed the rules for committees to be open to the general public", he said.