Common Platform Exposes Tax Under-Declarations

Ursula Owusu-Ekuful, Minister of Communications

URSULA OWUSU-Ekuful, Minister of Communications, has revealed that prior to the introduction of the Common Platform (CP) by her outfit, Ghana lost GH¢300 million in tax under-declarations between 2015 and the first quarter of 2017.

The minister, who was speaking to journalists in Accra, recently, on the benefits government has so far realised since the CP was introduced, also said “an estimated GH¢470 million in taxes was saved between the first quarter 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, “there would have been a potential loss of a total of GH¢15 billion through to the end of the CP contract, had the CP not been implemented.”

Further commenting on developments concerning mobile money monitoring, she said the CP had reported an average monthly usage of GH¢29.1 billion, while also there were GH¢195.8 million transactions with GH¢71 million generated by the operators in transaction fees.

She said the CP came with a state-of-the-art fraud management system known as TELECOP. “Through this, the CP originates over 150,000 international calls into Ghana every month to detect fraudulent SIMS automatically.

“So far, through the fraud management component of the CP, over GH¢205.6 million in tax savings has been realised by government. About GH¢795.9 million is expected to be saved over the five-year contract period.”

Commenting on how much it cost government to operate the CP, she said the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) and National Communications Authority (NCA) paid a total monthly contract fee of $1,491,225. This is made up of $596,490 by the NCA, $894,735 by the GRA all summing up to $1,491,225 per month, compared to a total outlay of $2,591,462 paid by both entities per month under the previous contracts. In the previous contract, the NCA paid $915,969 to Afriwave while GRA paid $1,675,492 to Subah all totalling $2,591,462 every month.

“The introduction of the CP has resulted in a total savings of $66 million over the five-year period, which translates into $1.1 million monthly.”