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After many months of deception and postponements, the ill-planned Interoperability was launched obviously under duress and as was expected, it is not working even with the exorbitant tariffs it comes with.
First of all, every GH 100 that is sent, one is charged Gh5 and the inter-network transaction is still by token. That’s Bawumia’s interoperability for you.
But Sibton was to do things differently. They would have caused an across network transactions seamlessly and at lower cost. Costs of sending every GH100 sent would have been Gh1.50p, meaning the Ghanaian benefit from a deduction of GH3.50 p.
Secondly, Sibton”s interoperability was to be zero investment to BOG. They were to build their own infrastructure at their own cost and recoup it through tarrifs but now Dr Bawumia has spent $16m for a project which shouldn’t have cost anything to the state and nothing is working.
So for how long are Ghanaians going to lose Gh3.50p for every Gh100 transfer from their mobile money transfer?
The Ghana Interbank Payment and Settlement System (GhIPSS) is a big failure and can’t process international cards today and remittance making banking very expensive in the international market. Sadly, it is wholly owned by the central bank whose duty it is to exercise oversight and regulate the sector. From where we are now, how much can the Bank of Ghana do to bring its own subsidiary to book to ensure it does the right thing? Why has Dr Bawumia forced the central bank to be a referee and a player at the same time? Is that the best practice anywhere in this world? So can Bawumia explain why he is disgracing his government everyday with launch of fake projects?
Secondly, the total volume of cash with the unstructured mobile money networks as at 2017, stood at GHC 109billion. With Dr Bawumia’s Transfer fee of 5%, a total of GHC 5.4billion will be lost to tariffs consumers on yearly basis. For the same GHC 109billion, consumers would have paid only GHC 1.6billion with the 1.5% transfer fee, translating to some GHC 3billion to the Ghanaian every year. We know that due to unstructured transactional fees and none regulatory policies, foreign mobile money operators continue to deflate the national basket of it financial benefits. Sibton in 25 years would have saved Ghc 84bn from transactional fees alone.
So what is Bawumia fighting for or seeking to protect?
By Seth Gyenfi