June 14, 2024
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SML received GH¢1.4bn from GRA, not the GH¢1bn Akufo-Addo stated – KPMG Report

The Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) has disbursed a total of GH¢1,400,202,403.56 to Strategic Mobilisation Ghana Ltd (SML) between 2018 and 2023 for its contractual services. 

These payments were made for three out of the six service contracts executed by SML, despite lacking approval from the Public Procurement Authority (PPA).

This revelation is documented on page 31 of the comprehensive KPMG report, which President Akufo-Addo officially released on Wednesday, May 22.

The reported payment figure sharply contrasts with the previously stated amount of GH¢1,061,054,778.00, as declared in a press release by the Communications Director of the Presidency, Eugene Arhin, on Wednesday, April 24.

Following an investigation by The Fourth Estate, which uncovered numerous irregularities in the contracts between Strategic Mobilisation Limited (SML), the Ministry of Finance, and the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA), President Akufo-Addo instructed KPMG to conduct a comprehensive audit.

The investigation revealed discrepancies in SML’s claims regarding its services aimed at tackling revenue losses in the downstream petroleum sector.

Despite SML’s assertions that its services were effectively addressing under-declaration, dilution, and diversion of petroleum products, evidence presented by The Fourth Estate showed that these functions were being carried out by other companies and the National Petroleum Authority (NPA). 

Managing Director of SML, Christian Tetteh Sottie admitted to the inaccuracies and promptly removed the false claims from the company’s website.

Despite these revelations and other admitted falsehoods, Minister of Finance Ken Ofori-Atta initiated a process in 2023 to expand SML’s contracts to include the gold and oil producing sectors. This decision significantly increased the annual contract sum to over $100 million.

Following the investigation by The Fourth Estate and subsequent public outcry, President Akufo-Addo suspended the contracts and commissioned KPMG to conduct an audit and submit a report. 

While the president released a press statement regarding the findings, the full report provides even more damning revelations about SML’s operations within its contracts with the Ministry of Finance and the GRA.

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