We demand full-scale probe into SML contract – Minority

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John Jinapor
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The Minority in Parliament has demanded the immediate suspension of an alleged dubious revenue assurance contract awarded SML Company pending a parliamentary probe.

According to an investigation by the Fourth Estate, the said company is receiving payments for assurance work in the petroleum and mineral sector for virtually no work done.

Speaking to the press in Parliament on December 18, Ranking Member on the Mines and Energy Committee, John Jinapor intimated that processes will be triggered In Parliament for a full-scale probe into the alleged scandal.

“We do not believe that there is value for money, this contract is a rip-off, this contract only ends up filling the pockets of greedy politicians and individuals.

“We cannot allow the taxpayer to be burdened with such unnecessary contracts that only go a long way to fill the pockets of individuals. So, we would advise, that immediately that contract should be suspended pending a parliamentary investigation. When we go into it and find out that all those allegations are true, we will ensure that this contract is abrogated.”

Background

The Fourth Estate in a report published on December 18 said its investigations have disproved wild claims by SML Company that it had helped to save Ghana billions of cedis that would have been lost in the downstream petroleum sector but for its intervention.

The company also tried to justify why it receives up to GH₵24 million monthly payments from the government of Ghana in a questionable contract it signed with the Ministry of Finance and the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA).

The Fourth Estate, however, revealed that the company, with the help of a section of Ghana’s media, had made false and unsubstantiated claims of its operations that have served as the basis for the payment it received. It appears the Ministry of Finance and the GRA were aware the claims were false, for some officials of the GRA said they had confronted the company about its claims of savings and volumes on two separate occasions.

A few hours after the reporters confronted the management of SML with the findings of the investigation and asked for a response, the major services it claimed to render to the government disappeared from the company’s website.

The investigation also uncovered that at a time players in the downstream petroleum sector were questioning the relevance of SML’s involvement, the Minister of Finance, Ken Ofori Atta, initiated a more outrageous deal that would entitle the company to over $100 million every year for the next 10 years.

With Additional Files from Duke Mensah Opoku