Yawning loopholes in the National Petroleum Authority (NPA)’s scheme to combat black market activities around petroleum products cost the country a whopping Ghc1.9billion of taxes in 2019, Whatsup News has gathered.
The data shows how the Petroleum Product Marking Scheme (PPMS) failed to arrest the black market situation.
According to the Chief Executive of the Chamber of Bulk Oil Distributors (CBOD), Mr. Senyo Hosi, while operators evaded taxes and deprived the government of revenue, the adulteration of fuel products directly impacted average Ghanaian car owners who have been forced to expend more on car parts destroyed by inferior fuel.
“In 2019, there’s been a slight shift from 1.35% in the failure rate to 1.99%. When you juxtapose that with petroleum tax losses you will realize that the lowest failure rate was in 2018 and that works perfectly with what we also observed with the tax evasion that was recorded for 2018,” said Senyo Hosi.
“…For us to just have a marginal change in 2018 but have an astronomic change in the reported tax evasion of GHC1.9 billion in total raises a major question. It suggests that the marking that is going on at the depots is possibly compromised,” Mr. Hosi said.
Mr. Hosi was speaking at the virtual launch of the 2019 Ghana Petroleum Industry Report in Accra recently.
The PPMSwas established in 2012 by the National Petroleum Authority (NPA) to respond to the growing occurrences of petroleum smuggling, dumping of untaxed products and adulteration of petroleum products. However, it would appear that the Scheme itself has been compromised right at the depot level.
Perpetrators of illegal black market activities, Mr. Hosi pointed out, continue to distribute their products through channels like retail outlets and bulk consumer points and this is how major losses continue to plague state coffers.
Also, adulteration of suchlike products means that the end consumer is having his vehicle’s life span poisoned with dire consequences to the environment and public health.
During phase 2 of the PPMS in 2019, the average retail outlet failure rate was 1.99%, a 0.64% increase from that recorded in 2018.
Mr. Hosi is calling for a tightening of the PPMS so that existing loopholes can be removed.