Business News of Tue, 17 Jul 20181

Probe ‘missing’ GH¢1.4bn fuel money – OccupyGhana to government

OccupyGhana has written to the Chief of Staff demanding investigation into how the state lost a total of GH¢1.4 billion in the loss of over 856,000 metric tonnes of subsidised fuel.

The loss, according to the pressure group, was captured in the 2017 industry report of the Ghana Chamber of Bulk Oil Distributors (CBOD).

The CBOD report attributed the GH¢1.4 billion losses to smuggling and export dumping, which denied the state petroleum taxes, levies and regulatory margins.

According to the report, the 2017 loss marks a 64.71% increase in revenue loss from the National Petroleum Authority’s (NPA) 2016 declared losses of GH¢850m.

In a statement signed by Kwaku Segbefia to the Chief of Staff and copied to the Office of the Vice-President, Speaker of Parliament, Minister of Energy and Chief Executive Officer of NPA, it said that “if true, this is completely unacceptable”.

OccupyGhana also described as worrying, the allegation that about GH¢5.2 million was lost to the NPA from diversions of 230 illegitimately subsidised premix trucks.

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“The report by the CBOD also alleges over a dozen infractions and breaches of the law and indicted unnamed officials of National Security, the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) and the Office of the President,” the statement said.

The pressure group insisted that persons who would be found culpable should be prosecuted to the “full extent permissible by law, no matter who these culpable elements may be”.

“The CBOD alleges losses due to increased smuggling activities along our coasts, under-invoicing, illegal tax and regulatory margins, ESLA under-reporting, Special Petroleum Tax (SPT) transfer pricing, deliberate inefficiencies and illegalities at BOST, unlawful profiteering, tax evasion and export dumping.

“But what we find even more troubling is the claim that these are happening with the connivance and complicity of officials in the Office of the President, in National Security, and in GRA.

“In the interest of the principles of probity, accountability and transparency, we write to request that full-scale criminal and highly forensic investigations are conducted into the alleged findings in the CBOD Report.

“If any persons are found to have engaged in these acts, we would urge the prosecution of all criminally culpable elements within the petroleum value chain to the full extent permissible by law, no matter who these culpable elements may be” it added.

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