There are indications that Ghana Interbank Payment and Settlement Systems Limited (GhIPSS) was sidelined in the engagement that led to the award of the Interoperability contract by the Bank of Ghana(BoG).
Although the Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana Interbank Payment and Settlement Systems Limited (GhIPSS) Archie Hesse appeared quite evasive about the raging issues surrounding the MMI contract, he suggested that they were clearly sidelined in the roll-out of such contract from the beginning.
“We couldn’t have meddled in the Mobile Money Interoperability affairs and for that matter make our concerns known when we’d not been engaged. And as a matter of fact the discussions that went on between the various stakeholders we were not part of it,” Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana Interbank Payment and Settlement Systems Limited (GhIPSS) Archie Hesse told host Kwaku Owusu Adjei on Anopa Kasapa on Kasapa 102.5 FM Monday.
His revelation is in contrast with the Former deputy governor Johnson Asiama’s claim that although GhiPSS was deeply involved in the process from the beginning, they were not given the project because they lacked the financial muscle to power it.
Deputy Information Minister, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, at a press conference on Tuesday, 15 May 2018, said the Akufo-Addo government saved the country from “unjustified extortion” by the erstwhile Mahama administration by re-awarding the contract to GhIPSS.
“The Akufo-Addo administration at this stage is pleased to have had the opportunity to engage all the stakeholders to correct what would have been an unjustified extortion from the good people of Ghana if the old deal had not being abrogated,” Oppong Nkrumah disclosed.
The Akufo-Addo Government, he noted, engaged core stakeholders to ensure that the system was implemented under a new cost-saving structure.
“Government, through the Bank of Ghana, through GhIPPS, is paying $4.5m and the Ghanaian at the end… who normally use this platform, does not need to pay a private company $1.2bn for their profit. This is a big savings to the people of Ghana”.
For him, “The arrangement [by the previous government] begs the question why GhIPPS was not even invited in the first place to do the job. Remember GhIPPS was set up to develop an interbank payment platform here in Ghana, so, if you are moving a step further to add interoperability platform, it only makes sense that GhIPPS be requested or charged to do the job and that is what we have done currently. It will make some people ask if somebody was creating a convenient scheme for persons to benefit”.