Home Headlines Bright Simons Exposes Misuse of World Bank Funds in Ghana’s E-Gate Project

Bright Simons Exposes Misuse of World Bank Funds in Ghana’s E-Gate Project

Kotoka International Airport
Kotoka International Airport

Bright Simons, Vice President of IMANI Africa, has raised serious concerns over a recent announcement by Ghana’s Vice President, Mahamudu Bawumia, regarding the rollout of an e-gate project at Kotoka International Airport.

According to Simons, the project, which aims to streamline immigration processes using e-gates, has already been funded twice by the World Bank, with both instances recorded as “complete and successful.”

Vice President Bawumia announced the upcoming technological advancements during a meeting with clergy in Cape Coast, highlighting that by the end of the year, travelers arriving at Kotoka Airport would not need to go through an immigration officer. Instead, they would use e-gates that operate with the Ghana Card.

“In fact, before the end of this year, if you arrive in Ghana at Kotoka Airport, you don’t even need to go to an immigration officer. We are putting together the e-gates. You put your Ghana Card, it will open for you, and you’ll pass and enter. The e-gates will come into work in Ghana before the end of this year,” Dr. Bawumia emphasized.

Simons, however, took to social media to address the development, stating, “If this new e-gate project uses a single pesewa of Ghanaian money, then it will be the most brazen abuse of World Bank money ever in the history of the world. The truth is that the World Bank has paid TWICE for this same project. And recorded the project as complete & successful.”

To support his claims, Simons referenced an article he wrote in April 2024 titled, “Is the World Bank saving or harming Ghana?” In the article, Simons provides a detailed account of the e-Transform project, particularly the e-Immigration system, which was supposed to automate immigration clearance at the airport through biometrically-enabled e-gates and digital visa processing.

Despite a budget of nearly $20 million for the e-gates submodule, the anticipated Secure Border Management System (SBMS) intended to replace a US-donated platform has not been rolled out. Official World Bank records claim the e-gates were functional and merely needed to be transferred from terminal 2 to terminal 3 at an additional cost of $2.9 million. However, five years on, these systems have not been deployed.

Simons also pointed out the failure of the electronic visa management system, which, according to World Bank records, was launched in February 2019. The system has not been deployed to most of Ghana’s diplomatic missions abroad, leading individual missions to engage separate service providers at their own expense.

Simons’ revelations cast doubt on the efficiency and transparency of the project’s management, raising questions about the proper utilization of donor funds and the accountability of involved parties.

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