Telcos reject gov’t allegations of tax under-declaration

The Ghana Chamber of Communications has rejected government claims that the implementation of the Common Platform (CP) has led to the discovery of under declaration of taxes by mobile network operators. 

The Minister of Communications, Ursula Owusu-Ekuful who was in parliament to answer questions on the floor on Friday, August 7, 2020, said an estimated amount of GHC300 million taxes was saved between the first quarter of 2017 to date as a result of the implementation of the CP.

But the Chief Executive Officer of the Chamber, Kenneth Ashigbey, in a statement rejected the claim.

He said network operators have over the years shown an “exemplary record of tax compliance as well as delivering on all their tax obligations.”

He, however, admonished the government to engage members of the Chamber before making such claims.

Mr. Ashigbey added that his outfit was willing to address these allegations as they have dire reputational consequences on the operations of its members both in Ghana and abroad.

“We are humbly entreating the Government to engage with our members and all other industry players on serious reputational issues such as these before conclusions are drawn and same circulated with the public.”

“We also will seek an audience with Parliament through the Select Committee on Communications in the ensuing days to engage them adequately in addressing these allegations which have serious reputational effects on our businesses both in and out of Ghana.”

The Minister for Finance and the Minister for Communications are to establish a common platform as a mechanism for verifying the actual revenues service providers accrue for the purpose of computing taxes.

KelniGVG was hence contracted in 2017, to build and operate the Common Monitoring Platform which is an integrated single platform connecting to nodes in the networks of all Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) and the Interconnect Clearinghouse (ICH) where traffic and revenues can be monitored.

The Platform has four main components, that is fraud management, traffic monitoring, revenue assurance and mobile money monitoring.

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