Minister of Communications now seek understanding of Subah saga

The last time Adombusiness asked the Minister of Communications, Dr. Edward Omane-Boamah about the Subah saga he said “this is purely an operational matter between GRA (Ghana Revenue Authority) and the telcos so go to GRA.”

But a letter intercepted by Adombusiness indicate that the Minister is now seeking to understand the Subah saga after the release of the ‘shambolic’ Committee Report, which has come under heavy criticism since its release.  

The letter, dated May 12, 2015 was from Ghana Chamber of Telecoms. It provides the background to the Subah issue. It states in the first paragraph that the minister requested to be better informed about the issues, months after it has been out in the public domain.

We hereby publish the full details of the letter, which provides the minister with the background to the Subah saga he requested for.

Ref: GCT/MOC/14/345
12thMay 2014
The Honorable Minister
Ministry of Communications
ATTN: Hon. Dr. E. Omane-Boamah

Dear Honourable Minister,

Following discussions at the closed-door Stakeholders’ Meeting on May 2, 2014, and your request to be better informed on this subject by network operators, kindly find below a fact sheet for your information, please:

1. Mobile Network Operators were first introduced to Subah Infosolutions by a letter from Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) dated October 28, 2013. The letter, as attached, was addressed individually to operators and copied to the Chamber. (A copy is attached herewith.)

2. Subah Infosolutions had never previously approached any of our members with a request to install any equipment on their networks for any purpose whatsoever until November 2013.

3. No court action involving Subah has ever been initiated by any of our members, whether individually or collectively as a Chamber. However, on June 15, 2010, the Alliance for Accountable Governance (AFAG)applied for an injunction (Suit Number HRCM/82/10) at the Human Rights Court against the installation of monitoring equipment by Global Voice Group (GVG)on the networks of mobile phone operators for purposes of monitoring international traffic, citing a potential threat to the privacy of subscribers. Mobile network operators were not the complainants. They were respondents, together with the National Communications Authority (NCA) and the Attorney-General’s Department. AFAG subsequently discontinued the application on July 8,2010.

4. On July 19, 2010, three private citizens filed another application (HRCM/113/10) at the Human Rights Court for an injunction to prevent the installation of monitoring equipment by GVG,with the same respo~dents as listed above in the earlier suit.

5. None of our members have ever been challenged for under-declaring CSTrevenues, based on audits by Subah. Telcos had never had to deal or work with Subah under any circumstance until November 2013.

6. Increases in Communication Service Tax (CST) which, according to GRA,went up from GHC19 to GHC40 million per month on average between 2010 and October 2013 has been due to the growth in usage, as a result of the increase in the number of subscribers (approx. 7 million in 2007; 17 million in 2010; 27.5 million by October 2013).

7. Members of the Chamber are subject to thorough audits by GRA,and these have been carried out manually and regularly on site.

8. Members of the Chamber are currently co-operating with GRA and Subah Infosolutions to ensure compliance with the CST (Amendment) Act, 2013 (Act 864). A copy of the latest status report on telcos’ engagement with GRA and Subah is enclosed for your information.

We hope that this background will help to provide the necessary clarification on this matter.

Please accept, Sir, the assurances of our highest esteem

Kwaku Sakyi-Addo
Chief Executive Officer.

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