Parliament to invite Minister of Communications expected to throw more light on $89m Kelni GVG contract

BY: Musah Yahaya Jafaru
Mrs Ursula Owusu-Ekuful
Mrs Ursula Owusu-Ekuful

Parliament has decided to invite the Minister of Communications, Mrs Ursula Owusu-Ekuful, to apprise the House on the terms of an $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 (MP) for North Tongu, Mr Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa.


Mr Ablakwa said the $89-million contract awarded to Kelni GVG had gained currency especially within the civil society organisations.

For now he said that Parliament was not exercising its oversight responsibility over the matter.

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

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

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, is reported to have said 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 stated.

Administrator of the DACF

Mr Bagbin again asked the Administrator of the District Assembly Common Fund (DACF), Ms Irene Naa Torshie Addo, to appear before the House next week to brief members on the purported changes in the DACF formula.

The First Deputy Minority Whip, Mr Ahmed Ibrahim, who made the request for the administrator to apprise the House on the development, said information was that about 80 per cent of the allocation was to support the implementation of government policies.

Responding, Mr Bagbin noted: "Because it is the House that has approved the formula and if there is any information to the contrary, then the administration is properly called upon to come and tell the House why they are so different from what had been approved by the House.

"It may be that that is not the case, and then the House will be in a proper position to inform the general public.”