Ghana Chamber of Telecommunications’, Kweku Sakyi-Addo, may be on his way out of his current position as the Chief Executive Officer (CEO), for creating controversy between them and the government, because of the contract between the Ghana Revenue Authority’s (GRA) and Subah InfoSolution.
The individual companies are said to be unaware of a petition he sent to the President, John Dramani Mahama, following the release of the Subah investigative report and subsequently leaked it to the media and speaking on it on various platforms as though that was their official position.
Mr. Sakyi-Addo’s utterances stance, has brought huge embarrassment to the various telecom companies, especially so when it led to the release of a forensic audit report carried out by the renowned accounting firm KPMG on the orders of the National Communication Authority (NCA), detailing tax evasion and under declarations of taxes by the Telcos.
Some of the telcos are said to have called the presidency; The Flagstaff House disassociating themselves from Mr. Sakyi-Addo’s comments, suggesting that the GRA-Subah contract smirks of a state schemed fraud and corruption.
Meanwhile, The Herald has also chanced upon a text message from a senior executive member of the opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP) name withheld, revealing how various meetings were held to demonize the GRA-Subah contract.
The text message, which has been intercepted by The Herald reads, “Wofa welcum from your trip. I understand u were looking for me b4 u travelled. There is a worrying feedback on SUBAH and if we don’t act fast dis week d issue will resurrect. The telecom chamber have approached some of the communicators on our side and pnc and ppp. They have called me too, but i told dem am out of accra. They are sorting dem out to deal with SUBAH dis week. Treat it as confidential and lets meet asap. Tanx.”
But the former broadcaster‘s intervention in the controversy, has been seen by the telcos as unnecessary especially after news broke that he had petitioned President Mahama over the matter.
They are also unhappy with Mr. Sakyi-Addo’s comments on various media platforms calling Subah all sorts of names, when they have signed a “nondisclosure agreement” with Subah not to make public its findings from the talk tax monitoring and the expected revenue expected to be bagged by the State.
For instance, speaking on Joy FM’s Super Morning show this week, Mr. Sakyi-Addo described the Subah contract, as either “irredeemably incompetent” or “fatally fraudulent”, if the company still insists it monitored telcos to check their revenue inflows to help verify if they are paying the right taxes.
As if the news of his ousting has gotten to him already, Mr Addo has stopped all interviews with the media on his leaked petition to the President.
Few days ago, when the Accra-based Radio Gold, called him for further deliberation on the leaked petition, the ace broadcaster, told producers of the station, he had stopped granting interviews on the issue and true to that stance, he has not been heard on any media platform again.
Meanwhile, a pressure group, Alliance for Accountable Governance, (AFAG), affiliated to the opposition NPP has taken a swipe at the telecommunication service providers, describing them as “nation looters.”
According to AFAG’s Director of Operations, Abu Ramadan, the Telcos are delivering poor services and also evading their tax obligations.
He made these comments when he addressed the media on Wednesday in Accra, where he called for forensic audit into the tax commitments of the Telcos and get those found culpable sanctioned.
Abu Ramadan inquired, “There is a fundamental question which we must ask ourselves: why have the TELCOS resisted any attempt to monitor their earnings in an attempt to determine the right amount of taxes paid to government?”
He revealed, “Over five years now, the Telecos have consistently frustrated any attempt to physically monitor them, even in the face of the amended Communication Services Tax, Act 2013 (ACT 864).”
Abu Ramadan thus implored government to be proactive in sanctioning telecommunication service providers who are looting the nation to maximize profit.
Earlier, on the same Subah-GRA-telcos ‘fight’, a former Member of Parliament (MP) for Okaikoi South, Nana Akomea has blamed lack of due diligence in the award of contracts for the numerous corruption scandals in government confirming NPP executive’s text message that his part was going to make resurrect the Subah contract as a corrupt deal.
He described as unfortunate the wanton dissipation of public funds by government appointees at the expense of the ordinary Ghanaian who are wallowing in abject poverty.
Nana Akomea, who was speaking on Asempa FM’s Ekosii Sen programme on Monday said, the Subah rot was a clear case of “create loot and share”, and intimated that in its bid to ensure all its cronies get their share of the national cake; the government has “deliberately” created the enabling environment for people to loot.
He made the comment, while discussing a 14 –member technical committee’s report that justified the payment of GH¢74 million to IT firm, Suba Info Solutions Limited.
Subah was alleged to have collected GH¢144 million for no work done, after it was contracted by the GRA in 2010 to provide telecom traffic monitoring services for revenue verification for the tax agency.
But a government investigative committee exonerated the firm, arguing that Subah justifiably incurred cost in executing the contract for which reason it was paid GH¢74.3 million and not GH¢144 million.