BoG wins arbitration against Sibton Switch Systems Limited

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    The London International Court of Arbitration’s(LCIA) constituted Tribunal has ruled and awarded in favour of the Bank of Ghana, dismissing all claims brought against it by the Sibton Switch Systems Limited.

    Sibton Switch Systems Limited filed a request for arbitration on April 9, 2018, against the Bank of Ghana specifically citing a breach by the BoG relative to the termination of the master agreement for the Ghana Retail Payment Systems Infrastructure in 2017.

    This agreement dealt with the grant of an exclusive right to Sibton Switch to construct, operate and own the Ghana Retail Payment Systems Infrastructure.

    On the assumption of power of a new government in 2016(NPP), the new management of the Bank of Ghana was sworn in. Therefore it became necessary for the new management to review the terms of the contract entered into by the previous administration.

    The new management per its review concluded that Sibton Switch Limited had failed to fulfil the conditions precedent for the effectiveness of the rights and obligations of the parties.

    The agreement between the BoG and Sibton Switch was therefore terminated on the basis that it never came into effect.

    Consequently, Sibton Switch went to the London International Court of Arbitration, seeking a sum of USD 478 million from the Bank of Ghana.

    The Public Procurement Authority’s approval for the project indicated that the contract was one-sided only in favour of Sibton Switch.

    It is on record that GhIPSS, a subsidiary of the Bank of Ghana was able to deliver the mobile payment systems interoperability at a cost that saved Ghana billions of cedis.

    A three-member panel of arbitrators on July 28, 2021, dismissed all claims brought against the BoG by Sibton Switch Systems Limited and issued awards in favour of the Central Bank.

    Sibton Switch System’s failure to comply with the orders of the Tribunal which included an interim award made on June 25, 2019, in favour of the Bank of Ghana, led to the dismissal of the claims. This required Sibton Switch to make an interim award payment for the security of costs.

    Furthermore, Sibton Switch was ordered to pay the BoG its arbitration costs in full, in respect of the BoG’s legal fees.

    Meanwhile, the Governor of the Central Bank has expressed his satisfaction about the favourable outcome for the Bank and also for the Nation as a result of the billions of Ghana Cedis saved the Country.