Experts in the ICT industry and the former Deputy Governor of Bank of Ghana Dr Asiamah have exposed the hidden propaganda agenda in the Vice President’s allegation against the former administration. It is now clear that what Dr Bawumia said with regard to cost of the previous interoperability contract is entirely misleading, a clear misrepresentation of facts, essentially based on cheap propaganda and hearsay which which made his statement unempirical, and his presentation absolutely bogus and therefore a plain distortion of facts. The misuse of information and distortion of it is a much broader problem that now permeates through all sectors of this administration. In general, mobile interoperability has seen great strides in very short time in many countries.
Tanzania, Pakistan, Kenya, Indonesia, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka etc have all offered this as an option for customers and agents. Nigeria mandated it in 2012. In Tanzania, the Bank of Tanzania provided a supportive regulatory environment for engagement. The bulk of the content came directly from the industry. In Tanzania, the industry opted to develop the common operating standards first. Establishing these standards involves regular meetings to define the record membership and participation criteria, clearing and settlement principles, handling of disputes, principles for intra party compensation etc. The Bank of Ghana in 2016, per the narratives so far, handled the issue the same way Tanzania did. The BoG demands and specifications were different from what was first implemented in Tanzania. In Tanzania, the negotiations that produced the payment-to-payment operating rules was facilitated by IFC and funded by the Bill&Melina Gates Foundation and FSDT.
In Kenya, the Central Bank of Kenya, welcomed the implementation of the system ( phone financial services). It was Safaricom’s M-Pesa and Airtel Money that undertook a pilot of mobile money interoperability in preparation for a nationwide launch. The central bank of Kenya just like the Bank of Tanzania did not make any financial commitment. It Central Bank of Kenya identified key factors that it said needed to be considered before endorsing mobile money interoperability, including cost. The Bank noted that mobile money subscriber accounts grew to 37.8 million in January 2018, while mobile money transaction in the same period were valued at Ksh 323.0 billion with 1.4 billion transactions.
The Vice-President and his propagandists made their allegations without telling us the type of interoperability the former administration planned to implement and the one they have just implemented. We were not told the components and ability of the systems the two administration settled on. We were not told about the standardisation during the design of the whole program, the capability to communicate, execute programs, or transfer data among various functional units etc. The Vice-President magnanimous enough and furnish us with all the technical information to enable us do critical evaluation of the two contracts. To just quote figures without providing the public with evidential information covering the two deals is problematic. My research reveals that interoperability can have important economic consequences; and findings suggest that research has estimated the cost of inadequate interoperability in the US capital facilities industry to be over $15 billion a year. The report also said it is prudent for user communities or government to take steps to encourage interoperability in various stations. I brought in this to support the former deputy governors information that the previous handlers of the deal looked beyond establishment of mobile money interoperability. It considered other important functions the system could play.
Dr Johnson Asiama, carefully explained the contract and gave listeners comprehensive information about the deal. The apex Bank was still in negotiations with the company before the last administration exited and was still making few demands to bring down the cost.
He also pointed out that the Bank agreed to pay only Ghc300,000 as to support its workers who will work alongside the company.
GABBY OTCHERE-DARKO AND DR BAWUMIA’S PROPAGANDA THEORIES –
The Vice-President alleged that the previous administration agreed to pay Ghc4.6 billion to Sibton which is false and wicked lie. The Bank never agreed signed any such deal with the company. None of the central banks of countries operating interoperability system paid monies directly. The Banks always act as facilitators.but the agreements per facts available are almost the same. How and why will government pay that huge amount for interoperability system implementation when it just went to the IMF for something less to support the economy.
Gabby Otchere-Darko quickly went on his Facebook wall to play his mischief. Just like his Vice president, he created the impression that the previous administration agreed to pay that huge amount to the company and the number of schools Ghc4.6 billion can complete in Ghana using flawed correlations.
People who pose as the most intelligent souls in the country, did not evaluate the story. They started chastising the last administration based on the misleading report the Vice-President presented.
We are still waiting to read the full official report about the Ghc4.6 billion the previous handlers agreed to pay to the company.
The Bank of Ghana is an autonomous body clearly enshrined in the constitution. It operates as an independent body just like all other autonomous bodies created by the constitution. Government has no direct control over its operations.
Source: Ohenenana Obonti Krow