A sudden increase in unaccounted bonded marine gas oil (MGO) sales to vessels has caused Ghana authorities to start investigations, while proposing taxes as a solution.
“We have been receiving requests for marine gas oil, which in essence is diesel to bunker ocean-going vessels, and the volumes have been increasing over time,” Hassan Tampuli, CEO of the National Petroleum Authority (NPA), told Ghana Web.
“We observed that there has been some 2,000% increase in the demand, and this cannot be mathematically feasible so we have had to interrogate the demands.
“We checked, and it turns out that some of the vessels that were claimed to be bunkered were not even in Ghana. So somebody takes the product and immediately dumps it on the Ghanaian market without paying the necessary taxes, levies and margins.”
According to Tampuli, the illegal activity will damage business activities in the private sector.
“You don’t only distort the market but you create an avenue for businesses which want to do genuine business to begin to follow you, because they cannot compete with you; and if they cannot compete with you, they have to lay-off their workers,” he says.
“The business of government is to create an enabling environment for businesses to thrive and create jobs. We intend to give opportunities for the private sector to operate, expand and create more jobs. What is happening right now is something that goes contrary to the above aims of government, and we will stop at nothing to stamp out this bad practice.”
Tampuli suggested the introduction of taxes for MGO as a solution.
“We have, in collaboration with the Ministry of Finance, proposed the imposition of taxes, levies and margins on all marine gas oil to discourage criminal elements from distorting the market,” he said.
Publication date: 12 January, 2018
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