The Chief Executive of the National Petroleum Authority (NPA), Dr. Mustapha Hamid, has expressed serious concerns regarding a revenue contract between a private company and the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA).
In an interview with The Fourth Estate, Dr Hamid, a prominent Islamic religious figure and leader in the government’s energy sector revenue generation units, shed light on the potentially dubious activities of SML Ghana, the controversial company at the centre of the scandal.
It has come to light that the government of Ghana is paying SML Ghana a staggering amount of over US$140 million annually for no work done.
Shockingly, officials from SML Ghana were unable to provide a single example of a revenue anomaly they have successfully addressed. This has led to accusations that the company is involved in a complex scheme of “create, loot, and share,” even though the GRA is solely responsible for the revenue generation process and has been diligently carrying out its duties.
Dr. Hamid revealed that some members of the NPA management had raised concerns about potential role duplication when they discovered that SML Ghana had been contracted to undertake automatic tank gauging, a task that the GRA had already completed.
Dr. Hamid however disclosed that a meeting had been scheduled with the controversial company to “understand” their work.
“Potentially, we consider it (SML deal) duplicitous,” the NPA CEO said of the company created in February 2017 to juice the Revenue deal a year or two later.
On whether a company like SML Ghana was needed in the Petroleum revenue tracking system, the NPA CEO says the system is already robust without SML Ghana’s involvement.
“The NPA has a system that tracks the lifting and transportation of fuel products from the depots to the tanks of the oil marketing companies. With that system, the NPA can tell the volumes of petroleum products in all the fuel stations across Ghana at any given time.”
The NPA CEO added that there is an ERDMS installed by the NPA and linked to the GRA’s system which “allows us to disable people from operating or lifting petroleum products once they are found to be in default of whatever statutory margins or taxes or levies that they haven’t lived up to. So, the absence of the ERDMS at that time where things were done manually and so on was perhaps some of the regulatory challenges. But since that system was installed, a lot of that has been stemmed.”