Business News of 2014-06-08

‘Stop Negative Reports about Saltpond Offshore’

Mr Quincy Sintim-Aboagye, Chief Executive Officer of Saltpond Offshore Producing Company Limited (SOPCL), a fully Ghanaian-owned oil producing company, has appealed to the media to stop peddling falsehood about the company, since it rendered it unattractive to investors.

Mr Sintim-Aboagye, who was speaking to the Ghana News Agency on a recent media report that the Company "has defaulted on its surface rentals and corporate income tax liabilities to the State,” said such reports made it difficult to convince investors to put in money for expansion to make it profitable.

He said the Company has 13 million dollars corporate tax credit, which means that it did not have to pay corporate tax, adding that all other tax liabilities of the Company - royalties and rentals - have been paid up-to-date.

"The Pay As You Earn (PAYE) and the Social Security & National Insurance Trust (SSNIT) contributions of our workers have all been paid up-to-date," he said.

When GNA sought further clarification, Mr Francis Kofi Andoh, Deputy Commissioner of Communication and Public Affairs at the National Revenue Authority, said "corporate tax is charged on profit so if a company is not making profit it does not pay corporate tax".

He referred to the tax laws of the country and said, "you do not pay tax on losses".

The Tuesday June 3, edition of the "Business & Financial Times (B&FT) newspaper reported that one Dr Mohammed Amin Adam, Executive Director of Africa Centre for Energy Policy, an upstart nongovernmental organisation, had told a World Bank meeting on petroleum revenue management in Accra that "Saltpond Offshore has defaulted on its surface rent and corporate tax liabilities to the State."

However, Dr Joseph Kwadwo Asenso, an Economist at the Energy, Oil and Gas Unit of the Finance Ministry rebutted the claim and explained that "what (revenue) we have been receiving from the Saltpond Operators are royalties and surface rentals. So it is not only royalties, they have been paying surface rentals as well."

Source: GNA
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