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Business News of Friday, 7 August 2020


KelniGVG has saved GH¢1.5bn in undeclared taxes – Communications Minister

Communications Minister, Ursula Owusu-Ekuful, has disclosed that Ghana has made savings of GH¢1.5 billion in under-declared taxes in the telecommunications sector since the implementation of the Common Platform (CP) managed by KelniGVG.

She told Parliament on Friday, August 7, 2020, that the introduction of the common platform has uncovered that, before the introduction of the policy, GH¢470 million in taxes was lost from potential under-declarations between 2015 to the first quarter of 2017.

Her revelations on the floor of Parliament were contained in her answers to various questions by MPs on the three-year deal.

“An estimated amount of GH¢300 million in taxes was also saved between the first quarter of 2017 to date as a result of the announcement of the implementation of the CP on March 8, 2017,” she told Legislators.

The Minister further disclosed that through the deployment of the Common Platform and the sophisticated, up-to-date fraud management systems, 150,000 fraudulent SIM activities were automatically detected from international calls into the country.

This, she said, has saved the country of tax fraud of an additional GH¢327.3 million from the activities of SIM Card fraud since the inception of the platform.

“Over the life of the contract, the CP is expected to deliver tax savings of approximately GH¢799.6 million“ the Minister stated.

According to the Minister, Mobile Money Monitoring has reported monthly usage for July 2020 of GH¢63.6 billion, 307.1 million transactions, with GH¢104.6 million generated by the Operators in transaction fees, with further breakdowns of transaction types for informed policy decision making.

Section 14 of the Communications Services Tax Act 2008 (Act 754), as amended by Section 7 of the Communications Service Tax (Amendment) Act, 2013, Act 864 mandates the Minister for Finance and the Minister for Communications to establish a common platform as a mechanism for verifying the actual revenues that accrue to service providers for computing taxes due to Government under Act 864 and revenues accruing from levies under Act 775 as amended by Act 786 of 2009.

KelniGVG was then contracted on December 27, 2017, to build and operate a Common Monitoring Platform (CMP) which is an integrated single platform connecting to nodes in the networks of all Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) and the Interconnect Clearinghouse (ICH) where traffic and revenues can be monitored.

The National Communications Authority (NCA) and the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) are the implementing agencies and beneficiaries of this project.

Giving further benefits that the implementation of the CP has accrued to the country, Mrs Owusu-Ekuful also mentioned that the policy has resulted in savings of $1.1 million monthly over the previous contracts, resulting in a total of $66 m savings over the 5-year contract period.

Under the previous NDC administration, the NCA was paying $915,969 to Afriwave, while the GRA was paying $1,675,492 to Subah, bringing the total payments to $2,591,462 monthly.

The NCA, she said, now pays $596,490 and the GRA $894,735, a total of $1,491,225 to service providers.

“Additionally, unlike the previous contracts, the CP offers real-time monitoring of 2.5 billion transactions per day within the telecom sector such as calls, SMS, Mobile money transactions and other transactions," disclosed.

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