…Denies Fraud In Afriwave Contract, Defamation Lawsuit Looms
The chairman of the Application Evaluation Panel (AEP) that appraised the contract for Interconnect Clearing House (ICH) deal, has threatened to sue IMANI Ghana over the defamatory claims it made about the contract awarded to Afriwave Telecommunications Limited by the NCA.
He said these are people, “we don’t know who have made it their stock in trade to tarnish our hard won reputation”.
The Deputy Director-General of NCA, Albert Enninful, issued the threat in an interaction with The Herald at a press conference in reaction to a document purported to have emanated from IMANI Ghana, alleging fraud in the selection of Afriwave Telecommunications Limited to execute the ICH contract.
Franklin Cudjoe, according to The Herald intelligence, is doing a hatchet job for one of the companies, which failed to win the contract. The New Patriotic Party (NPP) Member of Parliament (MP) for Obuasi West Constituency in the Ashanti Region, Kwaku Agyeman Kwarteng, went on a similar voyage, but failed to make any impact and had to chicken out.
Meanwhile, Franklin Cudjoe, also a member of OccupyGhana, which he owns with others aside IMANI Ghana, to still sustain his claim of fraud regarding the Issuance of the Afriwave ICT Licence.
A letter sent to the Communications’ Ministry in the name of OccupyGhana shortly after the NCA press conference said, “in order to be better informed and take the right line of action, OccupyGhana® is asking your office to kindly furnish us with the copies of documents that aided this
decision to award the License to Afriwave”.
According to Occupy Ghana, “specifically, we are requesting the individual panel member’s reports on this tender, and minutes of the Board Meeting that approved the tender for Afriwave. We are asking for these in the exercise of our right to information under article 21(1)(f) of the Constitution”.
It was signed by a certain Ing. Nana Sarpong Agyeman-Badu.
The NCA, at a press conference yesterday, laid bare every detail surrounding the contract and denied claims it fraudulently awarded the license for the establishment of an Interconnect Clearing House (ICH) to Afriwave Telecom Ghana Limited.
The Authority, disclosed it established an independent AEP for the selection of a clearing house to carry out the job. Indeed, the Director General of the NCA, William Tevie, insisted the process was fair and transparent.
The panel that evaluated the proposals presented by the five companies interested had Mr. Enninful as chairman, George Hayford, Arnold Okine, Derrick Appiah, Country Director of Microsoft, Mrs. Amankwa, secretary to the panel, Fred Asare Dankwa, a lawyer and Dr Charles Tei Amoatey of the Ghana Institute of Public Administration (GIMPA).
Mr. Enninful, said the so-called policy think tank failed to do due diligence on the said contract awarded to the company for the interconnect clearing house, yet put out the draft document of the evaluation panel in public to tarnish the image of the eminent members of the panel.
“As public servants, we set out to seek the best interest of the state, and not the interest of any individual,” Mr. Enninful posited, adding this cannot continue to happen, where some people under the cloak of a policy think tank, lacking expertise in a particular field, start alleging fraud without any proof whatsoever.
According to him, this unscrupulous action on the part of groups like IMANI, make the holding of public service very difficult.
Earlier, the Director –General of NCA, said it was with a sense of accountability that, the press conference was organized to clarify some statements made by IMANI with regards to the award of a license for the interconnect clearing house.
According to him, there was no fraud in the selection process for the ICH License to Afriwave Telecommunications Limited.
He said, the NCA, has operated in a way to protect the integrity of its operations, “we have been in this space for the past 20 years and have worked in the interest of the country”.
He stated that the assertion put in the public domain was regrettable, unfortunate and misleading on the part of IMANI.
He took the opportunity to assure all stakeholders of NCA that it would continue to undertake its regulatory function with integrity and transparency to ensure quality provision of Information Communications Technology (ICT) for the benefit of Ghanaians.
He said, the allegations that the panel admitted to not having sufficient information and failed to make informed judgment about the finances of the five applicants, was untrue.
He explained that, this was not true, because the panel worked with the technical team of the NCA, who provided them with all the necessary information and all the materials to facilitate their work to ensure objectivity in the selection of the winner of the bid process.
“This is not the first time the NCA has engaged the services of an independent panel and ‘we do this to ensure the integrity of the various processes in the selection of a bid winner all the time”.
He maintained, the points awarded was in different areas and the panel’s metrics used in assessing each aspect of the application, were specific to access and to an extent which applicant would be able to raise equity or debt to pay for the cost of deploying and maintaining the infrastructure required for the project.
He said, the panel took into consideration the experience and track record of the company and its ability to raise funds from both equity and debt to fund the roll-out of the ICH.
He noted that Afriwave Telecommunications Limited, is in partnership with Huawei Technologies, Meucci Solutions, and Laurasia Associates, were better placed to manage project.
According to Mr. Tevie, the NCA. is fully convinced that there was no fraud or rigging in the selection process for the ICH license, adding “the NCA wishes to clearly state that the assertion raised in the public domain is regrettable and unfortunately misleading…”
“The AEP in preparation of the report transferred the scores from Excel to Microsoft word. They then noticed that there were some errors with regards to the scores in which situation the errors were corrected and there are verifiable correspondence to that effect,” he explained.
Mr. Tevie, however, indicated that Afriwave was still the highest scoring firm following the corrections saying, “It should be noted that after the corrections, the total scores remained the same with Afriwave, having obtained the most points.”