GRA’s petroleum downstream unit, SML save Ghana GH¢3-billion revenue

A Collaboration between the downstream petroleum unit of the Ghana Revenue Au­thority (GRA) Customs Divi­sion, and Strategic Mobilisation Ghana Limited (SML), a revenue and assurance audit firm, has saved the country GH¢ 3 billion in petroleum revenue from June 2020 to June 2022.

Since the introduction of the technology, the average volume per month recorded by SML metres for the white product is 400 million litres, which has resulted in extra revenue for the government.

Mr Christian Tetteh Sottie, Managing Director for SML Ghana, who disclosed this, said the collaboration was helping the GRA to meet and exceed its annual targets.

He was speaking at a stake­holder engagement held in Tema last week with the leadership of the downstream petroleum unit of the Ghana Revenue Author­ity (GRA) Customs Division to discuss new initiatives and solicit opinions on how both sides can improve the successes chalked and further improve the country’s revenues. This meeting forms part of regular stakehold­er engagements.

The GRA, last year, mobil­ised GH¢75.5 billion domestic revenue, which is GH¢3.60 billion more than it was tasked to collect. The collection was a five per cent increase over last year’s target of GH¢71.94 billion.

The feat also meant the domestic revenue the GRA mobilised was 31.5 per cent more than what was collected in 2021. The Customs Division, which in­cludes the petroleum downstream sector, collected GH¢22.26 billion as against a target of GH¢20.20 billion, also exceeding the target by GH¢2.06 billion.

The stakeholder engagement brought together the various Cus­toms heads in charge of down­stream petroleum depots across the country’s 16 regions.

SML Ghana took the Cus­toms officials through the latest technologies such as scanning of way bills and purchase orders, and reconciling them with metre volumes at the depots in real time and introduction of level sensors to monitor, manage, and measure the petroleum stocks.

Mr Sottie stated that the en­gagement was to take the officials through a detailed method on how SML Ghana was leveraging technology to improve the sector and remove any misconceptions while establishing the foundation of both sides as partners.

 “We have had this collabo­ration with the GRA Customs Division since 2020, which comes with regular stakeholder engagements and the team from Customs is really pleased with the work we are doing. The next step is the installation of level sensors on all depot sites which is currently ongoing. This will stop Customs officials from climbing the tanks to manually check the level of stock in the tanks on a daily basis,” he revealed.

Meshach Kwame Danso, Acting Head of Petroleum Unit, Customs Division at the Gha­na Revenue Authority, said the deep collaboration between both parties was a step in the right direction as it seeks to improve the efficiency and accountability to the government.

“We need to know the right figures to help work smoothly. Working closely with SML Ghana has given us room to monitor the petroleum figures so we can report to government accurately. Thanks to their technology, we are now able to account for every litre of petroleum product. This collaboration is really good for government’s petroleum revenue position,” he said.

Sampson Anim, Assistant Commissioner, Petroleum Downstream at GRA Customs Division, lauded SML Ghana for its transformative technology to maintain transparency while en­hancing the sector and increasing revenues.

“The system is perfect. What we previously had was a very manual system of auditing but this is a digital system that captures all our lifting from the depots through delivery to the filling stations and whatever des­tinations the product is supposed to be, so we are able to monitor in real-time how much is being loaded at any depot and it grants us the assurance that indeed whatever we have captured for revenue purposes is accurate,” he said.

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