Yaw Buaben Asamoa, Director of Communications of the governing New Patriotic Party, says the press conference held by the opposition National Democratic Congress yesterday, to ‘rehash’ the party’s allegations of corruption against the Akufo-Addo government, was part of “the desperate attempts to cover up the massive Sibton fraud exposed by the London International Court of Arbitration recently”.
“The NDC has been making desperate attempts to cover up for the GHC2 billion Sibton fraud, as exposed through arbitration by a Tribunal in London. That exposure was seen as a confirmation of the systematic efforts they made to plunder the resources of the nation when they were in power.
“And because they know Ghanaians have been shocked to the marrow by the exposure, they are desperately seeking to go every length to cover up and take the minds of the people, who are calling for investigations, from that massive scandal.
“But I can assure them their propaganda has been badly deflated. What they did at the press conference yesterday was just a rehash of the vicious allegations of corruption which were rejected by the electorate in the previous elections,” Mr Buaben Asomoa said in an interview with the Daily Statesman yesterday.
The Bank of Ghana (BoG) recently won a $478 million (GHC2billion) arbitration against Sibton Switch Limited in relation its termination of the Master Agreement for the Ghana Retail Payment Systems Infrastructure in 2017.
A Tribunal constituted under the auspices of the London International Court of Arbitration (LCIA) dismissed all claims brought by Sibton Switch Systems Limited (“Sibton Switch”). Sibton Switch went to the LCIA seeking relief in the sum of USD 478 million, equivalent to GHC2billion, from the Bank of Ghana
Following the humiliating defeat of the NDC in the 2016 elections, and upon the appointment of a new management of the Bank of Ghana, it became necessary to review the terms of the contract entered into by the Mahama administration.
“The contract which the previous Mahama government had awarded for a colossal sum of GHC2 billion was reversed by the Akufo-Addo government, and eventually was awarded again for only GHC4.5million. That was a savings of 26,000 per cent; that was indeed a gargantuan fraud,” the NPP Director of Communications stated.
In reviewing the contract, it came to light that it was one-sided, in favour of Sibton Switch, and severely detrimental to the interest of Bank of Ghana.
The Governor of the Bank of Ghana, Dr Ernest Addison, and his team found that “the Public Procurement Authority approval for the project provided that the Bank of Ghana’s maximum liability was to be GHC300, 000. Contrary to this approval, the corruptly-procured contract with Sibton Switch provided that the Bank of Ghana had a huge potential liability of $478 million (GHC2.6 billion).”
It further came to light that the tender price of Sibton Switch was over 33 times more expensive than the next most expensive bid.
Additionally, Dr Addison and his team reached the conclusion that Sibton had neither acquired the licence nor fulfilled the condition precedent for the effectiveness of the rights and obligations of the parties.
Following the termination of the contract with Sibton Switch in 2017, the Bank of Ghana’s subsidiary, GhIPSS, was able to deliver mobile payment systems interoperability at a small fraction of the cost, saving the Ghanaian taxpayers billions of cedis.