Ghana National RA Deal: The Plot Thickens

What is unfolding in Ghana is a plot that is ripe for a movie – I am really pleading with Hollywood to consider this pitch. It’s time for Africa to be on the big screen showing how to do a major heist. Kofi Bentil, The VP of policy think tank IMANI Ghana, has disclosed that the KelniGVG deal for national revenue assurance will cost Ghana USD 179 million and not the earlier reported USD 89 million. Thinking about it, USD 89 million is no loose change. When you consider that the real figure may be twice, then the scale of this mess comes into focus.

Bentil is not mincing words:

GVG is a telecommunications company which is extremely corrupt and that is very well documented. It’s been driven out of many countries because of its corruption and incompetence and here we are going to bring them in…

He further states he has seen proof of the figure that he has quoted:

We are hearing $89 million on air but I have seen document that says it’s over a $170 million and it was sole sourced more or less…

As expected, denial came in swift from the government. Deputy Communications Minister, George Andah, stated that the contract is 55% cheaper than the previous two contracts and does two more functions than them too.

Errm, I dunno, I just dunno. Isn’t it rather difficult to say this when we all know measuring the benefits of the past two Ghanian national RA projects under Subah and Afriwave have reportedly been an exercise in futility? It is safe to say though that we can all agree that somebody handsomely benefited.

Mr Andah is working overtime and has also attended FM radio shows during which he attempted to clear the matters. In one such occasion, he took the opportunity to remind us that IMANI is not God. You cannot make this stuff up. He has also stated that no amount of pressure will result in abrogation of this contract.

We are focusing on the work that we have to do. We will not be distracted. Yes, it is our responsibility to educate Ghanaians…

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, the board of the National Communications Authority (NCA) is fighting another war, of course not unrelated to the KelniGVG mess. Claims have been rife that some board members have threatened to resign. We would imagine anybody with a shred of conscience would step down from such a board even if not implicated directly or indirectly.

Susan Adjorkor Kumaple is one person who has been mentioned as possibly having resigned because of board disagreements about KelniGVG. The board saw it fit to offer a clarification:

We wish to state that Mrs. Susan Adjorkor Kumapley, a former member of the Board, resigned on 12th February 2018. No reasons were assigned in her resignation letter… The claim that some members of the Board have threatened to resign is false and should be disregarded.

Again, as expected, Deputy Minister of Communications, George Andah, helpfully clarified the situation.

…there is no issue of the board not being aligned with the implementation of a common platform… I am happy that the board has come and exposed the lies and the untruths and whoever it is that is behind them should bow their heads in shame.

Who has the cellphone number of Idris Elba? I need to reach out to him; we need a Hollywood star of his rank for the movie. This is too good an opportunity!

Joseph Nderitu
Joseph Nderitu
Joseph Nderitu is a director at Integrated Risk Services Ltd and specializes in revenue assurance. He previously worked as Head of Revenue Assurance and Fraud Management at Vodacom's operation in Tanzania, having previously served in the same role at Vodacom Mozambique.

Before his work with Vodacom, Joseph was an internal audit manager for Airtel, with responsibility that covered their 17 countries in Africa. Whilst at Airtel, Joseph led reviews of the Revenue Assurance, Customer Service and Sales & Marketing functions.

Prior to his stint at Airtel, Joseph was an RA manager at Safaricom in Kenya. He holds an MSc Degree in Information Systems.