Accra, Ghana, February 25, 2020//- Akufo-Addo administration with Senior Minister Yaw Osafo Marfo as hatchet man is about to dole out a staggering US$120 million to take over the port management system dubbed the Ghana Community Network Services Limited (GCNet) and West Blue (Customs World).
The government intends to supplant GCNET with another system (UNI-Pass) believed to be owned by a crony of the administration.
Whatsup News gathered from reliable sources close to the deal that the compensation to GCNET may run into several hundred of millions more in judgment debt for the “backdoor” contract the government is cooking up.
Already, legal suits are reportedly being activated by the operators whose contracts are about to be torpedoed.
In an Osafo Marfo-signed letter sighted by Whatsup News, he explicitly stated that the administration intends to circumvent due processes from both the Ministry of Finance and the Ghanaian Parliament to hand over some US$ 120 million as compensation to GCNET for the plan to illegally cancel their existing contract.
The contract will then be passed on to Ghana Link Network Limited, a company owned by one Nick Danso Adjei who is believed to be particularly close to the Jubilee House bigwigs and Senior Minister Yaw Osafo Marfo.
Mr. Osafo Marfo in his curious letter wrote: “In a confirmation letter dated 5th December 2018, Government requested GCNET to submit for discussion the terms of such a transition. We note that GCNET is yet to submit the terms of the transition they would find satisfactory.”
He went ahead to explain how the Akufo Addo administration intends to circumvent due processes to push the deal through to Ghana Link Network: “It is the sincere belief of the Government that the option to discontinue the contract and pay reasonable compensation to GCNET provides the best outcomes for both parties. The most obvious alternative would be for Government to seek the approvals of the Minister of Finance and also of Parliament. The outcome of the request could be anything, which could disturb the smooth and amicable transition we are looking for.”
Whatsup News has also intercepted a contract signed between the Government of Ghana and Ghana Link Network Services Limited on March 24, 2018. The contract virtually okays the takeover of GCNET by Ghana Link Network’s UNI-Pass system, despite the fact that that GCNET’s contract is valid till 2023.
Reliable information picked up from the fields indicates that Ghana Link Network has already started setting up parallel to GCNET’s system even though no concrete agreement has been reached with GCNET on whether they are willing to forego their juicy contract.
The antics of Mr. Osafo Marfo and the Akufo Addo administration has forced critics to smell an extremely fishy underhand dealing exposing why the administration is in a rush to give the port management system to UNI-Pass even though the government owns over 35% stake in GCNET and is likely to get an additional 30% stake (to form a total of 65%) shareholding in GCNET, an option which should be more attractive to a government working in the interest of the public.
Yet, in the UNI-Pass deal, Ghana Link Network and a Korean Customs system (CUPIA) would virtually be calling the shots.
Meanwhile, not only would the new UNI-Pass system cost Ghanaian taxpayers hundreds of millions in compensation and judgment debt, UNI-Pass would also be charging the government of Ghana more than GCNET and West Blue combined for its port management systems.
The processing fee for the UNI-PASS system will be 0.75% of Free on Board (FOB), compared to the existing combined fees of 0.54% that GCNets and West Blue are collectively charging Ghana currently.
Curiously, the UNI-Pass agreement would require it to use the infrastructure built by GCNET because UNI-Pass do not have any significant infrastructure capacity.
A recent test-run of its system at the Takoradi Port ended in a disaster, forcing the government to suspend talks for some months, Whatsup News gathered.
Finally, the current GCNET infrastructure is the main one being used for the various tax management systems in Ghana, including: the Ghana Integrated Cargo Clearance System (GICCS), the Ghana Customs Management System (GCMS) and the Ghana Revenue Authority’s (GRA)’s tax management system.
Reliable sources have informed the Whatsup News of a scheduled meeting summoned at the behest of the Vice Presiden, Dr. Mahamoud Bawumiah tomorrow to have Uni-Pass re-demonstrate their system although the contract has already been awarded. Stay tune for updates.