HomeNewsLocal NewsKPMG Report reveals SML received GH¢720m from ESLA’s GH¢2.45bn revenue

KPMG Report reveals SML received GH¢720m from ESLA’s GH¢2.45bn revenue

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The KPMG audit has revealed that Strategic Mobilisation Ghana Ltd (SML) was paid GH¢720 million from the GH¢2.45 billion revenue generated through the Energy Sector Levy Act (ESLA) under its revenue mobilisation agreement with the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA).

This revenue was accumulated between May 1, 2020, and December 31, 2023.

Within this period, the revenue equated to 1.70 billion litres, averaging 38.6 million litres per month.

The documents provided to KPMG for the audit indicated that both the GRA and SML on page 28 claimed that the initiation of the contract by SML resulted in increased volume liftings and additional tax revenue of GH¢12.98 billion from May 1, 2020, to December 31, 2023.

“Based on analysis using ESLA reported liftings as the pre-SML, the incremental reported volume that is attributable to the involvement of SML is determined as 1.70 billion litres for the period. This works out to a monthly average of 38.6 million litres per month.

“The incremental revenue that is attributable to the involvement of SML is GH¢2.45 billion for the period. The fee of GH¢720 million paid to SML for the same period constitutes 29.41% of the incremental tax revenue,” the report said.

Meanwhile, the report also indicated that SML owed the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) GH¢31.88 million in unpaid taxes for eight months of service provision.

This outstanding amount includes accrued interest, estimated at GH¢18.50 million as of January 31, 2024.

According to the accounting and advisory firm, SML has failed to fulfill its statutory obligations by neglecting to file its tax returns or remit the owed taxes to the GRA.

This deviation from standard practice occurred between June 1, 2020, and August 31, 2023, during which the GRA typically deducts taxes for payments made to SML.

Following an investigation by The Fourth Estate that uncovered numerous irregularities in the contracts between Strategic Mobilisation Limited (SML), the Ministry of Finance, and the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA), President Akufo-Addo instructed KPMG to conduct a comprehensive audit.

The investigation revealed discrepancies in SML’s claims regarding its services aimed at tackling revenue losses in the downstream petroleum sector. Despite SML’s assertions that its services were effectively addressing under-declaration, dilution, and diversion of petroleum products, evidence presented by The Fourth Estate showed that these functions were being performed by other companies and the National Petroleum Authority (NPA).

Managing Director of SML, Christian Tetteh Sottie, admitted to the inaccuracies and promptly removed the false claims from the company’s website.

Despite these revelations and other admitted falsehoods, Minister of Finance Ken Ofori-Atta initiated a process in 2023 to expand SML’s contracts to include the gold and oil-producing sectors.

This decision significantly increased the annual contract sum to over $100 million. Following the investigation by The Fourth Estate and subsequent public outcry, President Akufo-Addo suspended the contracts and commissioned KPMG to conduct an audit and submit a report.

While the president released a press statement regarding the findings, the full report provides even more damning revelations about SML’s operations within its contracts with the Ministry of Finance and the GRA.

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