12.06.2003 Article

Corrupting National ID Card Process - SAGEM MORPHO

By Ahmed Sule
Corrupting National ID Card Process - SAGEM MORPHO
12.06.2003 LISTEN

One of the problems facing African countries is corruption of government officials of the highest order. What most people do not know though is the extent to which these corrupt practices are ENCOURAGED and INSTIGATED by multi-national corporations doing businesses in these African countries. Among the leaders in this corporate MISBEHAVIOUR is Groupe SAGEM, a French company involved in Communications, and Defence and Security. Groupe SAGEM, unfortunately, is among the companies bidding for Ghana's National Identity Cards contract. Not only is the company corrupt; it is also incompetent. Wherever they have been around the globe, they have left their footprints of incompetence. As a man of both Nigerian and Ghanaian parents, I feel it is my duty, to stand up tell the whole world what I know about this company. I was in Nigeria when Groupe SAGEM bribed the then Nigerian government officials to win an ID card contract. It is alleged the company paid close to $50 million in bribes to corrupt Nigerian government officials to win a $300 million ID contract. I am prompted to write this because I am concerned about the fact that, the company would try very hard to win the Ghana contract through corruption - not because their bid is the best, but through influence, as they did in several countries around the globe. Researching their activities in other countries, I found the following: In Honduras, South America, criminals were able to duplicate identity cards Groupe SAGEM made for Hondurans. In Germany, a system created by Groupe SAGEM to pick fingerprints of criminals could not do so though the fingerprints were in national crime database. In Malaysia, Groupe SAGEM's incompetence showed in technical problems, and mixing up identities, fingerprints and personal data. In South Africa, there were several system rejections. I therefore urge media houses in Ghana to take up this challenge and investigate Groupe SAGEM further and alert our government officials about the possibility of this company bribing their way to win the contract. In this era of ZERO tolerance, the NPP government should watch carefully members tasked to review the bids so that none of them secretly receive bribe from Groupe SAGEM to corrupt the process because BRIBING is Groupe SAGEM's trademark. Views expressed by the author(s) do not necessarily reflect those of GhanaHomePage.

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