The President Nana Akufo-Addo’s government has saved taxpayers a whopping amount of GH¢ 205.6 million through the fraud management component of the telecommunication Sector’s Common Platform (CP).
Minister of Communications, Ursula Owusu-Ekuful, made the disclosure to journalists on Thursday, November 14, 2019, during a press briefing at the Information Ministry, in Accra.
She revealed that over the life of the contract, the CP is expected to deliver tax savings of approximately GH¢ 795.9 million.
She added that this comes with a state-of-the-art Fraud Management System known as TELECOP.
Through this, according to her, the CP originates over 150,000 international calls into Ghana every month to detect fraudulent SIMs automatically.
The Government of Ghana commenced the monitoring of telecoms activities based on the establishment of the CP found in Section 14 of the Communications Services Tax Act 2008 (Act 754), as amended by the Communications Service Tax Act 2013 (Act 864).
The Common Platform has four main components namely: Fraud Management, Traffic Monitoring, Revenue Assurance & Mobile Money Monitoring.
Results Achieved So Far
The Minister added that the Common Platform has delivered more value and less cost to the State.
According to her, “the introduction of the CP has resulted in a savings of $1.1 million monthly over the previous contracts, resulting in a total of $66 m over the 5 year contract period.”
She stated that “additionally, unlike the previous contracts, the CP offers real time monitoring of 2.5 billion transactions per day within the telecom sector (e.g. Calls, SMS, Mobile money transactions, etc.) as well as Mobile Money Monitoring as an added component.”
She explained that the CP provides revenue to the Government by top-ups.
She said it also provides means for measuring of Top-ups per Operator.
“With this, the GRA is now able to verify the various revenue streams of the MNOs, plug revenue leakages and more accurately predict revenue trends from the sector for planning and policy formulation,” according to her.
Again, she said with regard to Mobile Money Monitoring, the CP has reported an average monthly usage of
GH¢ 29.1 billion, 195.8 million transactions, with GH¢ 71 million generated by the Operators in transaction fees, with further breakdowns of transaction types for informed policy decision making.
“Under declarations detected: The introduction of the CP has uncovered that, prior to the introduction of the CP, GHS 300 million in taxes was lost from potential under declarations between 2015 to Q1 of 2017,” she said.
“An estimated GHS 470 million in taxes was saved between Q1 of 2017 to date as a result of the announcement of the implementation of the CP on March 8th, 2017 and its actual implementation to date,” according to her.
She added that “there would have been a potential loss of a total of GHS 1.5 billion through to the end of the CP contract, had the CP not been implemented.”
BY Melvin Tarlue