SML’s electrononic systems will boost revenue assurance – Policy Analyst

Nyarko Abronoma, a Policy Analyst, has indicated that the effective implementation of the Electronic Metering Management System (EMMS) will boost transparency and reshape revenue mobilsation in Ghana's downstream petroleum sector. Speaking to an audit by KPMG on the transactions between the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) and Strategic Mobilisation Limited (SML) and recommendations from the President, Nana Akufo-Addo, thereof, he said the work of SML was commendable. 'The results have been nothing short of remarkable, as an independent audit by KPMG revealed an incremental volume of 1.7 billion liters and an incremental tax revenue of GHS2.45 billion for the period under review,' he said in a write up. He explained that the SML system would help address fragmented and painstaking process, and vulnerabilities that charaterised the manual process of the downstream petroleum operations management. 'With SML's state-of-the-art EMMS has digitalised the measurement and reporting of petroleum product supplies, rep lacing error-prone manual processes with advanced digital solutions,' the Policy Analyst said. He noted that the reliance on stand-alone systems had over time, hindered GRA's ability to accurately regulate, monitor, assess, and tax petroleum products across the downstream and upstream sectors. 'At the heart of SML's success lies the transformative power of digitalisation and data-driven solutions. Real-time data streams provide unprecedented visibility into petroleum product flows, enabling precise tracking and accurate assessment of taxes,' he said. KPMG's assessment highlighted the qualitative advantages of the EMMS, including daily electronic real-time monitoring of petroleum product outflows and partial monitoring of inflows at depots equipped with SML's flowmeters. 'This round-the-clock surveillance serves as a powerful deterrent against under-declarations, safeguarding the nation's revenue streams,' the Policy Analyst observed. Moreover, SML's rigorous six-level reconciliation process, coupled with the sharing of discrepancy reports for follow-up action, underscores the firm's commitment to fostering transparency and accountability within the sector, he noted. Recommending SML's model for revenue assurance, he said it had earned a significant international acclaim, with nations like Kenya actively seeking to emulate its successful approach. 'The government's recent recognition of SML's success has prompted a comprehensive assessment of potential revenue leakages in the upstream petroleum and minerals sectors, with plans to explore the implementation of similar PPP models in these critical industries,' he said. While lauding SML's work thus far in the downstream petroleum sector, President Akufo-Addo said it was important for a review of the contract, particularly the fee structure into a fixed fee structure. The President also directed a review of clauses related to intellectual property rights, termination, and service delivery expectations, as well as a periodic monitoring and evaluation of SML's performance to meet contract expectation. Source: Ghana News Agency