Doubts cast on IMANI ‘expose’ on ICH license

Members of the Applications Evaluation Panel (AEP) of the Interconnect Clearinghouse (ICH) License awarded to Afriwave Telecoms Ghana have denied being signatories to the document published by IMANI Ghana.

This was at press conference organized by the National Communications Authority (NCA) to clear the air on a recent publication by IMANI Ghana to the effect that the process that led to the award of the license to Afriwave was skewed in favor of the winner and is therefore fraudulent.

IMANI claimed that the report it put out was the final report signed by all eight panel AEP members and NCA Board Chairman, and it had figures that showed that Afriwave was awarded 5 in a section where the maximum score attainable was 1.

The NCA has since explained that there were “trans-positional errors” which were corrected before the final decision was arrived at, which still saw Afriwave win with 39.5 points out a maximum of 40.

At the press conference, a journalist quoted from that IMANI document but members of the panel interrupted spontaneously almost screaming “that is not the document we presented – how can we be sure the signatures on the document are our signatures.”

Meanwhile, Head of the Technical Sub-committee of the AEP, Derrick Appiah told journalists “it is impossible for any committee member to give out a signed copy of even the final report because there is no such document as a report signed by all committee members.”

Appiah opened his gmail account, “which cannot be doctored” and demonstrated to journalists that the committee members indeed awarded Afriwave 39.5 points out of a total of 40; followed by Subah Infosolutions with 31.5 points and the other three followed.

“We were therefore glad when we heard that Afriwave had won the license because as per our evaluation we recommended to the NCA that Afriwave should be given the license,” he said.

He expressed worry that a work they did for “God and country” is now being bastardized as fraudulent based on a document that is completely different from the one they submitted to the NCA board.

Director-General of NCA, William Tevie also told journalists the NCA has still not seen the document IMANI is quoting from, “but what I can say is that during the process we identified some errors so it is possible that some of the documents that contained errors were leaked to IMANI.”

He however pointed out that the final document based on which Afriwave was declared winner was the corrected one, and not the one IMANI has.

William Tevie said it is not proper for the NCA to publish the results of the evaluation of private companies on its website, but if anyone has any doubts, they could always go to the NCA for clarification.

The NCA boss said IMANi’s called for the whole licensing process to be started again is flawed because their call is based on a document that did not form the basis of the license award.

He also pointed out that there was no requirement for any applicant to have started operations before applying since it was a new license and it was opened to new entrants.

On the issue of awarding more than one ICH license to allow telcos to choose which one they wish to work with, William Tevie said it made economic sense to have one operator with effective redundancy plan and facilities than to have many operators.

Some pundits Adom News spoke with after the press conference say they suspect that the document IMANI is quoting from may have been leaked by insiders at the NCA rather than by an AEP member.

Meanwhile, on the same day IMANI published its document, a top official of one of the companies, which lost to Afriwave, called this writer and offered to show details of the supposed anomalies in the said report.