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Govt recovers GH¢5.2m from petroleum under-declaration

BY: Mabel Aku Baneseh
Mr Alhassan Tampuli
Mr Alhassan Tampuli

The government has recovered GH¢5.2 million tax revenue from people and companies which under-declared petroleum products they exported between September 2017 and April 2019.

It has also stopped annual tax leakages of GH¢148.8 million (GH¢12.4 million on the average per month) on marine gas oil (MGO).

In addition, GH¢3.03 million of fines has been collected from 62 bulk road vehicles that carried two million litres of petroleum products without  proper documentation.

The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the National Petroleum Authority (NPA), Mr Alhassan Tampuli, told the Daily Graphic that the actions were taken between September 2017 and the first quarter of 2019 when the NPA stepped up efforts, in collaboration with the security agencies, to stem illicit trade in the downstream petroleum sector.

The actions had also resulted in the plugging of loopholes, which had led to total savings of GH¢892.8 million, following a significant reduction in volumes of exported products that would have been diverted for personal gain, at the expense of the state, said.

More savings

The government identified key supply leakages, including illegal imports, export dumping, dumping of MGO sold to foreign vessels, premix fuel diversion, transportation infractions, transfer pricing and under-invoicing and under-declaration of volumes.

Measures undertaken

Mr Tampuli said a number of interventions led to the current savings and listed them as security operations to confiscate the smuggled products, as well as the assets being used, the application of domestic taxes on MGO, effective January 2018, the release of stringent guidelines for export since September 2017 and MGO foreign supply since April 2018.

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Others are fuel marking programme, digital solutions such as the Bulk Road Vehicle (BRV) tracking programme and the Enterprise Relational Database Management System ERDMS).

Another measure instituted was the setting up of an export task force to be stationed at key checkpoints along the designated export routes, he added.

Way forward

Mr Tampuli said the NPA was working around the clock to ensure that the gains made were sustained.

According to him, the authority was in the process of procuring software-backed automatic tank gauging systems (ATGSs) and flow metres at all depots nationwide to help monitor the lifting of products from depots electronically.

“The revision of Petroleum Products Marking LI 2187 to deliver stiffer sanctions and penalties, including prosecution and withdrawal of licences, is also being worked on,” he said.

The NPA boss further indicated that the amendment of the NPA Law to give it prosecutorial powers was also being worked on.

“We hope to implement these measures before the end of 2019,” Mr Tampuli added.
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