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Government has witnessed a big increase in revenue generated from the country’s downstream petroleum sector thanks to the improved monitoring of in-flows and out-flows at the varied oil marketing company depots nationwide.
Within a period of ten months, the monitoring service being provided by a personal revenue assurance firm; Strategic Mobilization Ghana Limited, SML, raked in over one billion cedis in revenue to the state from 16 out of the 20 depots within the country.
This was revealed by the director of SML, Christian Tetteh Sottie, during a tour of a number of the OMCs in Tema.
According to Mr. Sottie, this achievement is remarkable considering that it happened at a time when the COVID-19 pandemic had affected economic activities globally.
According to him, between June 2020 and March 2021, economic activities took a nosedive largely thanks to low consumption of petroleum products within the country caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Between June 2020 and March 2021, there have been restrictions on social gatherings so people couldn’t travel. Our borders had been closed so no movement of vehicles outside the country and yet there was significant increase in revenue at the Petroleum downstream sector thanks to effective monitoring.”
Mr. Sottie added that “through effective monitoring with the state-of-the-art equipment; a primary of its kind within the world, SML has recorded higher volumes of petroleum lifting from our depots culminating into increased revenue for the country”.
Mr. Sottie said hitherto, the govt of Ghana was making a mean of some 350 million cedis annually as import taxes on petroleum products from the depots within the country; but things has changed after the introduction of the new monitoring system.
According to the top of Engineering at SML, Hamdan Abukari, the monitoring system is an end-to-end electronic system that provides real time account and data to the Ghana Revenue Authority and therefore the Customs Division of the GRA.
He says since the introduction of the monitoring system, the quantity of petroleum products recorded has increased by 752.4 million litres.
According to Mr. Abukari, there are four depots that are yet to be linked to the system because they’re not operational.
The minister of finance , Ken Ofori-Atta, during the commissioning of the SML technology in 2020, said he was optimistic the monitoring system was getting to help address the discrepancies in figures from the Ghana Revenue Authority, the depots and therefore the Customs which manages the world .
He said the monitoring system is one which will eliminate loses within the Petroleum downstream sector and help government realize the expected revenue to reinforce development.