Telecommunication companies in Ghana under-declare their revenue, hence the need for the $89million KelniGVG common monitoring platform deal, which will ensure optimum revenue mobilisation for government from the telcos, Minister of Communications (MoC), Mrs Ursula Owusu-Ekuful has said.
There is sufficient evidence, she said, which established that the telcos did not pay the required one per cent tax to the National Communications Authority (NCA) in times past.
“In 2012, the NCA did an audit of the one per cent of the revenues that they are supposed to be paying to the NCA and that audit revealed that all the telcos have been under-declaring and under-paying the one per cent of the revenues that they were required to pay.
“Judging by that alone, we have evidence in this country that they don’t always provide all the information that they should provide,” she told the media at a forum organised by her ministry at the NCA on Friday, 2 June 2018 as part of efforts to get the media to better understand and inspect the the Common Platform Monitoring Centre in Accra.
Prior to the press forum, Mrs Owusu-Ekuful had, on the same Friday, defended the contract for the design, development and implementation of the common platform for traffic monitoring, revenue assurance and mobile money monitoring, in parliament following claims by think thank Imani Africa that the deal was needless.
Imani also indicated that government has been paying KelniGVG $1.5 million every month since the beginning of 2018, for no work done.
But Mrs Owusu-Ekuful insists that even though the telcos are yet to be migrated onto the KelniGVG platform to commence real-time monitoring of their traffic, KelniGVG has procured and installed ICT equipment and other devices needed for the project at the NCA’s office.
She has given the telcos up to 11 June to plug into the systems or face sanctions.
Meanwhile, the Commissioner-General of the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA), Mr. Emmanuel Kofi Nti, has endorsed the project, saying for years, state tax collector depended on information handed to them by the telcos, and, so it was time for the government to have its own monitoring systems. This, he said, will ensure that the optimum revenue is generated by government.
Journalists were given the opportunity to inspect the monitoring centre and control room where ICT equipment, several computer servers, monitoring screens and prepared racks are installed to house equipment from each of the telcos for real-time monitoring.
Director-General of the NCA, Joe Anokye, explained that telecommunication giant Glo Ghana, has already initiated migration processes.