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General News Wed, 25 Oct 2017

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Government must respond to ‘copycat app’ – Group

A group called Concern Ghanaians in the United States has called on government to respond to claims by an IT guru, Kingsley Komla Elikem, that it paid VOKACOM $2.5million for Ghana’s digital address system application - Ghana Post App - when that application is already available for free on Google.

The group also wants to know how much VOKACOM was paid for the existing app and the procurement process leading to VOKACOM securing the contract.

This comes on the heels of revelation by Mr Elikem that government might have purchased an already existing application available for free for $2.5million.

To this end, the group said government should, as a matter of urgency, initiate the process of collecting all monies paid to VOKACOM and ask the Attorney General to prosecute for fraud.

The group, in a statement, said: “There are some videos going viral on social media that were made by one of our own called Kingsley Komla Elikem. The videos seem to suggest that the $2.5million that was paid to VOKACOM for Ghana’s Digital Address System should not have been paid to them because what VOKACOM is charging us is already available to us for free.

“The videos by Kingsley demonstrated that VOKACOM has not added anything new to an existing application, and that one person sat in his office and used the little knowledge he has to collect $2.5million from the Government of Ghana. Kingsley, also in those videos, raised very serious security issues in the use of the application in Ghana, including the creation of multiple addresses by one person. So far, neither VOKACOM nor the Government of Ghana has come out to deny or refute the claim by Kingsley Komla, and we find this troubling since their silence raises a lot of questions.

“We are beginning to doubt the whole transaction leading to this Digital Address System, how it was procured and how much was actually paid for it.

“Per this press statement, we want to know the procurement process leading to VOKACOM securing the contract. Was it done through sole sourcing or through competitive bidding? We want to know how much was actually paid for it. We want to know if VOKACOM charged the people of Ghana for an existing application? We want to know how much work actually went into this Digital Address System for which we paid so much for it.

“We are aware that Nana Akufo-Addo told us during the launch that this Digital Address System was going to solve our addressing system and improve our economy. Dr Mahamadu Bawumiah also told us before the launch that the system, if put in place, will surpass the technological advancement of USA, UK, Sweden and Germany. The demonstration on the videos by Kingsley has proven that these statements by the two gentlemen of Ghana are all false. We are therefore asking the government to come out and tell us what Ghanaians hope to achieve after the product is introduced into the market.

“We believe these are legitimate concerns, and that has led us to ask all these legitimate questions. If the government is really committed to protecting the public purse, then it is being put to the test on this VOKACOM deal. The government should, as a matter of urgency, initiate the process of collecting all monies paid to VOKACOM and ask the Attorney General to prosecute for fraud. We also believe somebody in a higher position in government should resign from his/her position to send a strong signal to Ghanaians that the government of Nana Akufo-Addo is finally committing to fighting corruption and fraud.”

Source: Class FM

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