Ministry of Communications and the Ministers awarded free $178m for no work done

Ministry of Communications and the Ministers awarded free $178m for no work done

Good morning. Folks, did you know the company the Ministry of Communications and the Ministers have awarded free $178m for no work done and that w

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Franklin Cudjoe, IMANI Boss

Good morning. Folks, did you know the company the Ministry of Communications and the Ministers have awarded free $178m for no work done and that which will not be done, had been contracted BEFORE by the NCA in 2010?

And that similar concerns IMANI and many stakeholders and citizens [ads1]are expressing haven’t particularly changed? They were paid $1m a month then under the NDC for no work done and yet they promised to BUILD OPERATE AND TRANSFER , just as the current Minister of Communications has asked them to do. GVG then was said to have trained NCA officials to own the process and the monitoring equipment. It is important for the Minister of Communications to tell us the status of those investments and equipment the NCA had then. But take a read about GVG when they had a juicy deal under the NDC too and the concerns expressed.

”GVG FACTOR But the side of the argument that telcos are actually concerned about, but are shy to be heard saying in public is the partner the NCA has chosen for this whole business of monitoring incoming international calls. The partner is called the Global Voice Group (GVG) from Haiti. The telcos are not comfortable with allowing a third party monitor all international calls that come into this country, and some argue that it has national security implications. Indeed, in Haiti, where GVG comes from, it is not a secret that GVG’s equipment listens into private calls. And the NCA admitted to it by saying it works like a post office where the staff have the opportunity to tamper with people’s letters and parcels but are forbidden by law. That is ridiculous because in spite of the law, post office staff tamper with people’s parcels all the time.

The other concern about GVG is that the telcos are still not too sure if GVG is really contributing anything to the fight against SIM Box fraud, which was the original reason government gave for bringing in GVG. Telcos have proven that without GVG, they are fighting and winning the war against the SIM Box fraud, so the only obvious reason government is insisting on installing GVG equipment is revenue for the state.

Meanwhile, GVG itself was said to have been relieved of its duties in Senegal under some weird circumstance, for which the telcos, and indeed other industry players, do not think it was a good idea bringing them to Ghana. First of all, GVG is getting a percentage, am told, which sums up to about US$1million a month from the 6 cents government gets off the 19 cents per minute of inbound international call. But the SIM box numbers that bypass the systems of the telcos also bypass the equipment of GVG, so the question telcos are asking is, how is GVG helping to fight SIM Box fraud? There is nothing that GVG discovers that the telcos do not discover on their own, probably even ahead of GVG, so what is the point?

In fact one telco Revenue Assurance Official told this writer the vendor they use for monitoring incoming international calls deliver better results for less than what government is paying GVG; so why GVG and why the insistence that all telcos must allow GVG equipment – who brought GVG to Ghana?

When the name GVG first came into this country, efforts to check their background proved very difficult because there was not much information on their website, except a press release, which borrowed from an article this writer wrote in the past. But that press release was taken off days after this writer discovered it.

On GVG’s website, there is no telephone number or email address they could be reached on, except recently they have stated that their Accra office is on the Third Floor of Adwoa Adjeiwaa House, off the Osu Oxford Street. The same building in which Airtel’s customer service office is. It is strange that GVG works in the telecom industry but does not see the need to provide its telephone/email contacts on its website. The NCA insists on telcos being transparent with customers, but the NCA does not seem to push its own partner, GVG to be transparent with the public; double standards.

The most surprising thing about GVG is that it has changed its name in Ghana to TCMS (Telecoms Consulting and Management Service) without the knowledge of some industry players. Could this be because of the allegations about the company and its CEO, Laurent Lamothe, for which GVG/TCMS itself decided not to offer any services in its own home country, Haiti, where Lamothe is now the Prime Minister Designate? (For details of the allegations against GVG and Lamothe, and their response, check these links: http://www.haiti-liberte.com/archives/volume5-34/Who is Laurent Lamothe.asp#. and http://globalvoicegroup.blogspot.com/2011/07/formal-denial-from-laurent-lamothe-and.html

Source: Telcos vrs NCA on International Gateway Monitoring
Samuel Dowuona wrote: https://www.ghanaweb.com/GhanaHomePage/features/Telcos-vrs-NCA-on-International-Gateway-Monitoring-239730