The Alliance for Accountable Governance (AFAG) has accused government of ‘multiple complicity’ in the infamous Subah Infosolutions scandal.
This involves the payment of an amount of GH¢144 million to Subah Infosolutions, which prides itself as a leading IT and Telecommunications solution provider which the Ghana Revenue Authority in the year 2010 contracted to monitor the activities and operations of telecommunication companies in the country.
At a press conference in Accra yesterday, Operation Director, Abu Ramadan, said they had chanced upon an Audit by KPMG and Delloitte which shows that ‘the Telcos have manipulated their data and have thus caused the nation tax revenues to the tune of over a hundred million US Dollars.’
‘Furthermore, some of the Telcos seem to be colluding with certain agents to terminate calls through SIM Boxing which is causing the nation millions in revenue. A simple upgrade and tightening of their systems could prevent SIM boxing’, Mr. Abu Ramadan claimed.
He was of the belief that government was well aware of all the information, wondering why the Telcos had refused to plug those loopholes and what they gain by keeping loopholes in their networks open for SIM box operators to exploit?
‘AFAG strongly believes that the Telcos are fighting Subah Infosolutions, as they did with the Global Voices Groups (GVG), from completing the physical installations because of their unwillingness to pay the appropriate taxes to Mother Ghana’, he noted.
AFAG as a group, does not understand why the Telcos resisted attempts to monitor their earnings in an attempt to determine the right amount of taxes due government.
This, according to Abu Ramadan who also doubles as the National Youth Organiser of the People’s National Convention (PNC), was because ‘over five years now, the Telcos have consistently frustrated any attempt to physically monitor them, even in the face of the amended Communication Services Tax, Act 2013 (ACT 864).’
‘Ordinarily,’ he noted, ‘the physical installations by GVB/Infosolutions or any other organisation for that matter, should not have taken more than three months to complete.’
He therefore asked emphatically, ‘Why has it taken five years?’
Meanwhile, he said report of the Technical Committee set up by government to among others things, probe the matter, indicated that not a single one of the Telcos had fully complied with Act 864; giving their compliance levels as follows; MTN, 19%; Vodafone, 69%; Airtel, 78%; Expresso, 91%; Tigo, 90% and Glo, 88%. This, he said, was unacceptable.
Abu could not fathom why government was allowing high profit margin corporate entities like the Telcos to flout the country’s laws in this revolting manner. He queried, ‘Why are the Telcos stalling physical installations to monitor their data flow, which is a basis for ascertaining the actual tax revenues due the state?’
AFAG has therefore challenged KPMG, Delloitte and the National Communication Authority to make public the results of the audit done on the operations of the Telcos since according to the group, the report highlights serious acts by the Telcos which are detrimental to the nation.
They have also charged government to prosecute any criminal act by the Telcos as per the audit done by KPMG and Delloitte whiles urging the Ghana Chamber of Telecommunication to desist from any misinformation and undue media pressure and allow public institutions to perform their due functions.
By Charles Takyi-Boadu
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