The collaboration between the downstream petroleum unit of the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) Customs Division and Strategic Mobilisation Ghana Limited (SML), a revenue and assurance audit firm, is helping the GRA meet and exceed its annual targets.
This came to light when SML Ghana recently held a stakeholder engagement with the leadership of the downstream petroleum unit of GRA’s Customs Division in Tema to discuss new initiatives and solicit opinions on how both sides can improve the successes chalked and further improve the country’s revenues. The meeting forms part of regular stakeholder engagements.
The GRA, last year, mobilised GH¢75.5 billion domestic revenue, which is GH¢3.60 billion more than it was tasked to collect. The collection was a five percent increase over last year’s target of GH¢71.94 billion. The feat also meant the domestic revenue the GRA mobilised was 31.5 percent more than what was collected in 2021. The Customs Division, which includes the petroleum downstream sector, collected GH¢22.26 billion, as against a target of GH¢20.20 billion, also exceeding the target by GH¢2.06 billion.
The stakeholder engagement brought together the various Customs heads in charge of downstream petroleum depots across the country’s 16 regions. SML Ghana took the Customs officials through the latest technologies such as scanning of way bills and purchase orders and reconciling them with metre volumes at the depots in real time and introduction of level sensors to monitor, manage, and measure the petroleum stocks.
Christian Tetteh Sottie, Managing Director for SML Ghana, stated that the engagement is to take the officials through a detailed method on how SML Ghana is leveraging technology to improve the sector and remove any misconceptions while establishing the foundation of both sides as partners.
“We have had this collaboration with the GRA Customs Division since 2020 which comes with regular stakeholder engagements and the team from Customs is really pleased with the work we are doing. The next step is the installation of level sensors on all depot sites which is currently ongoing. This will stop Customs officials climbing the tanks to manually check the level of stock in the tanks on a daily basis,” he revealed.
Meshach Kwame Danso, Acting Head of Petroleum Unit, Customs Division at Ghana Revenue Authority said the deep collaboration between both parties is a step in the right direction as it seeks to improve the efficiency and accountability to government.
“We need to know the right figures to help work smoothly. Working closely with SML Ghana has given us room to monitor the petroleum figures so we can report to government accurately. Thanks to their technology, we are now able to account for every liter of petroleum product. This collaboration is really good for government’s revenue position,” he said.
He called for more training sessions for the leadership and team at the downstream petroleum unit so they can keep up with new trends and information. “They are bringing new ideas on revenue assurance so we are looking forward to more encounters,” he added.
Sampson Anim, Assistant Commissioner, Petroleum Downstream at GRA Customs Division, lauded SML Ghana for its transformative technology to maintain transparency while enhancing the sector and increasing revenues.
“The system is perfect. What we previously had was a very manual system of auditing but this is a digital system that captures all our lifting from the depots through delivery to the filling stations and whatever destinations the product is supposed to be so we are able to monitor in real-time how much is being loaded at any depot and it grants us the assurance that indeed whatever we have captured for revenue purposes, is accurate.
Everybody is moving from manual to electronic and this places us in the midst of technology. And now that we have this electronic system, we are more confident with the job that we do. And we are confident that the volumes that we churn out are the correct accurate volumes. So, it gives us the confidence that whatever we have done is correct. And the revenues should be expected is also accurate,” he said.
SML Ghana’s technology impact
Since the introduction of the technology, the average volume per month recorded by SML meters for the white product is 400 million litres which has resulted in an extra revenue of GH¢3 billion for government between June 2020 and June 2022.
The digital measurement project to monitor revenue from downstream petroleum products from depots across the country is a partnership between the Customs Division of the GRA and SML Ghana, a Ghanaian audit and assurance services company, aimed at digitising the measurement and reporting of petroleum product supplies from over 20 depots across the country.
Known as the Electronic Metering Management System (EMMS), the system digitises the entire process chain by providing an end to end audit and assurance to GRA in the downstream petroleum sector .
About SML Ghana
Strategic Mobilization Limited (SML) a wholly-owned Ghanaian company with a strong financial backing of investors with varied business interests in Ghana across different industries. Steered by a governing board, the organization currently has two main divisions specializing in the Audit of Downstream Petroleum Products and Trade Transaction pricing and Business Process Audits at its Tema and Osu offices respectively.
SML is currently offering transactions price audit and assurance services, external price verification services for the Customs Division of Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA), and also downstream petroleum measurement audit to aid reconciliation and revenue enhancement for GRA to achieve its objectives.