…Says Chronicle Reporter Concocted GH¢144million Subah-GRA Deal Figure
By Alfred K. Dogbey
Metro TV reporter and onetime ‘Journalist of The Year’, Samuel Agyemang, last Monday stormed the offices of The Herald after a wild search, and made a mind-blowing confession that The Chronicle newspaper, exaggerated the GH¢144 million figure paid to IT firm, Subah Infosolution by the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA).
He told The Herald that he expressed shocked at the figure cooked by the Chronicle Editor, Emmanuel Akli, who told him that he only massaged the figure, by assuming that Subah Infosolution was paid GH¢3 million a month, since he (Samuel Agyemang), had failed to quantify the amount paid to Subah, in his video documentary.
Accompanied by a man he identified only as “Condom,” who he said was in charge of audiovisuals at Metro TV, Samuel Agyemang, admitted he cannot vouch for the figure put out by the Chronicle, which has become the catch line for media discussions.
He also admitted that he did not personally speak with the management of Subah Infosolution, but got a female Metro TV reporter to do so.
However, the import of his story that a criminally-minded gang was looting state funds from the coffers of the GRA to pay the company for no work done, was not put to the two officials of Subah, during the ICT fair, where they were asked about their products and their relationship with the GRA.
This Mr. Agyemang, explained was because the intention behind the story was not to allege fraud against Subah Infosolution and GRA officials, but simply to spark a national debate on the mistrust between the telephone operators namely; Tigo, MTN, Glo, Expresso, Artel and Vodafone and the government of Ghana.
He further admitted not speaking to any official from GRA, but claimed he did some behind the scene interviews with all of them, asking him to confront the Commissioner General of the GRA, George Blankson, but could not get to speak with him, despite several attempts to reach him.
On why his own media house, Metro TV, did not use the story, Mr. Agyemang told The Herald that when the story broke, Metro TV had wanted to use
it, but later the General Manager, by name Fadi later intervened, and said that the story was going to destroy the TV station’s business interest.
He said Fadi, was acting on the orders of Talal Fatal, the owner of Metro TV, who also had interactions with the management of Zoomlion.
The Metro TV anchor, emphatically debunked speculations that he had been sponsored by some hidden personalities to run down the Ghanaian-owned company, Subah Infosolution, especially Mr. Joseph Siaw Agyapong, with whom he has a personal, as well as, business interest.
On Kweku Sekye-Addo’s role in the video, Mr. Agyemang, claimed he had ambushed the Chief Executive of Officer (CEO) of Telecoms Chamber to speak about Subah, by having him speak about the relationship between government and the telecom companies during this interview, before he finally opened up on the issue.
Meanwhile Mr. Agyemang hinted that more of such stories are on hold which would soon be released.
Meanwhile, it has been established that Mr. Agyemang personally leaked the video, scripts and cash book given to him by an officials of the Subah to various media houses, internet and socials commentators, including Vitus Azeem, after Metro TV, decided not to air the problematic
Again, although Mr. Agyemang claims his video did not suggest fraud, those who have watched the video on “YouTube” said, he was economical with the truth, because he had tilted the video “Subah Infosolution GH. Fraud,” implying criminal motives into a legally binding 5-year contract between Subah and the GRA.
Meanwhile, the Commissioner General of GRA, Mr. Blankson, said that the tax revenue collector has, since 2010 paid GH¢75 million and not GH¢144 million to the IT firm Subah InfoSolutions, for its telecommunication traffic monitoring services.
Besides monitoring the quantity of calls and data trafficking through the mobile telecommunication networks, the contract awarded Subah was also to ensure that the service providers charged the correct rates and taxes on the quantity of calls transmitted through their systems.
The monitoring system was meant to make sure the telcos do not under-declare their revenue obligation – payment of the Communications Service Tax (CST) – to the GRA.
Blankson, however, told various media on Monday that, although the various networks refused Subah the right to directly plug into their systems to monitor the quantity of calls that originate and terminate through their systems, the IT firm nonetheless has been able, since 2010 when it was contracted, to carry out the verification bit of the contract.
He, therefore, refuted arguments that Subah was paid for doing nothing.
Subah InfoSolutions, according to the Chronicle Newspaper, received GH¢144 million as payment from the GRA, even though, according to the paper, the company rendered absolutely no services to the revenue collecting organisation.
Blankson, however, clarified that his checks with GRA’s accounts shows that about GH¢75m rather than GH¢ 144m was paid to Subah.