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An IT expert, Kingsley Komla Elikem, has raised grave concerns about the cost and quality of the newly introduced digital property addressing system-the GhanaPost GPS App, by the ministry of communications, describing it as a scam and lazy approach by government to implement an effective digital address system.
The National Digital Property Address System was launched about a month ago to facilitate easy location of addresses and to boost emergency service delivery nationwide but has encountered stiff opposition by the IT experts, civil society groups and the members of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) who are calling for a review of the contract and purchase of the application which is worth 2.5 million dollars as disclosed by the Managing Director of Ghana Post Company Limited, Mr. James Y.A. Kwofie
Several Ghanaians have also criticised the government following the introduction of the app over monies being channelled into the operation of the app as well as its effectiveness as projected with most of them accusing government of ‘duplicating’ an already existing app which was developed by Ghanaians.
According to the Managing Director of Ghana Post, James Kwofie, Ghana is to pay Google, an amount of $400,000 for embedding the company’s online map into Ghana’s newly designed National Digital Property Addressing System in an App which has already cost Ghana $2.5 million to purchase.
Vokacom, the company that designed the app has however come out to reject the claims, their justification being that it was built on a global addressing system that was designed solely by them but Mr. Elikem refuted the claims and argues that government’s quick defence on criticisms associated with acquisition of the app and the eight-month period used to design the app is an indication of a scam and an attempt to dupe the nation.
“The reason why I say Google GPS is the same as Ghana Post GPS is that they just used the same thing that is already available to us and try and make it personal to them and Ghana Post someway somehow decided that they are going to buy from them,” Mortey told the media at a news conference Monday.
He added: “There is no government that Google is charging for any service because it is Google’s prerogative to try to map every country so that businesses like FedEx and others can use their services and through that they can make money. Clearly from the defence made by Ursula Owusu, George Andah and Dr. Bawumia is clearly create, loot and share.”
“What Ghana Post is using is just the same as the tens of thousands of individual developers around the world use without payment. Therefore, Google is officially saying we do not have to pay, when API is used in a mobile application. By this revelation, I want to know why the country is paying the US $400,000.00 and for which services? It is worth noting that the use of Google Maps API for mobile, purposes is literally free”.
Kingsley, who did not want to sound politically biased, defended his statement, saying “it is not a government matter. We all have political affiliations in Ghana by the way but if you tell me that it took a government eight months to code…to write these codes that anyone can do in one day, you are a lazy government.”
Explaining the “one day” app design to journalists at the Ghana International Press Centre, the IT professional said.
“That was just a poor work. You sit down behind the computer, you write your codes, throw a fish net over the surface of Ghana, make sure that you use the cursor to pick the ends carefully…Whiles you are done you give a dimension to the fish net. It should be five by five meters and you would be able to generate this. One day. Eight months to do this work? That’s a lazy government.”
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