General News of 2014-05-20

Subah Saga: There is nothing to investigate - Ayariga

Government has hinted it would not conduct any further investigation into the controversial transaction between the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) and Subah Info Solution.

Mahama Ayariga insists a technical committee constituted to look into the activities of Subah has made far reaching recommendations and they are happy with the outcome.

Subah has been accused of receiving in excess of 74 million cedis for work they did not do.

They entered into a contract with the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) in 2010 to provide telecom traffic monitoring services for revenue verification by the GRA.

According to Ayariga as part of the contract, Subah was expected to compare whether the telcos provided the right tax information to the GRA.

This, they could do, by obtaining information from the NCA - information that had been provided by the telcos - and compare it with revenues declared to the GRA by the telcos.

They were also expected to monitor the number of calls made by the telcos; the minutes spent on each call and compare it with the level of revenue declared by the telcos.

They could only do that by connecting their equipment to some physical nodes of the telecom companies to monitor revenues.

The Telecoms Chamber has heavily criticised the deal describing Subah as "irredeemably incompetent or fatally fraudulent."

Critics, including Franklin Cudjoe and Caseley Hayford maintained that Subah did not deserve the whopping 74 million cedis paid it but government insists the company is deserving of the amount paid.

On Joy FM's Newsfile programme on Saturday, panellists including Kweku Baako Jnr, Rashid Pelpuo all demanded fresh investigations into the controversy describing the work done by government's technical group as inconclusive. But government again thinks otherwise.

Mahama Ayariga in a hot banter with Joy News' Evans Mensah said there is nothing to investigate.

"An investigation has been conducted and this is the report. The report admits certain things. The report reviews the contract. The report makes proposal for a new contract and then presents a holistic view of what really happened.

"There is nothing you are saying here that the report has not captured by the report," Ayariga argued.

Defence of 74 million cedis

Mahama Ayariga also mounted a strong defence for the 74 million cedis paid to Subah by GRA.

He said Subah analysed Call Data Records (CDRs) and were deserving of the amount paid them.

Ayariga said as part of the contract, Subah was to be paid 13.5 per cent of an increased revenue to be generated as a result of the monitoring of the call records.

What it means is that if as a result of Subah's monitoring activities, revenue provided by the telcos had increased for instance from 100 cedis to 200 cedis, Subah was entitled to be paid 13.5 per cent of the interest.

He insisted GRA only respected the contract because revenue had shot up.

This was however contradicted by the Telecom Chamber which argued vehemently that the increase in revenue was not as a result of any activity by Subah but as a result of increased in access lines which Subah did nothing to bring into being.

The Chamber also insisted that they had no knowledge whatsoever of the activity of Subah until 2013, and could therefore not have partnered Subah to do a job between 2010 and 2012 for which it was paid 74 million cedis.

Quoting portions of the Technical Committee report, Ayariga said it was precisely because Subah failed to work with the telcos by attaching their equipment to some physical nodes of the telecom companies to monitor revenues that 1 per cent was deducted from 13.5 per cent they ought to benefited per the original contract.