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CUSTOMS ABSOLVES SOPCL- It Makes Regular Lodgements Into Petroleum Fund

Saltpond Offshore Producing Company Limited (SOPCL), the only fully Ghanaian owned oil producing company, has been making regular lodgements into the Ghana Petroleum Holding Fund, according to a Ghana Revenue Authority Customs Division Audit Report.

The report, “Ghana Revenue Authority Customs Division Audit Report Saltpond Offshore Production Co. Ltd. January 2002 – December 2010”, states among other things: “Total liability of 3% of royalties per the contract amounted to US$1,886,973.40.The Company paid all the royalties with the exception of 2002 and some short payments amounting to US$22,226.25.” (The Company was subsequently able to provide evidence to show that it had paid fully all the royalties due.) “The Company also kept proper records of all transactions concerning its operations in the country,” the Report signed by Mr K.W.K. Tsikata, Deputy Commissioner / Audit of the Customs Division; and dated March 29, 2012, said.

This is contrary to a report carried by “The Ghanaian Times”, a national daily, on the front page of its Friday May 18, 2012 issue and attributed to Major Daniel Sowa Ablorh-Quarcoo, Chairman of the Public Interest and Accountability Committee (PIAC), claiming: “No revenue accruing from oil production in the Saltpond Field has been paid into the Ghana Petroleum Holding Fund, as required by law…”. “The Ghanaian Times” report said “Major Ablorh-Quarcoo made the allegation when he launched the maiden annual report of PIAC Petroleum Revenue Management for 2011 in Accra on Thursday, May 17, 2012. Speaking to GNA, Mr. Quincy Sintim-Aboagye, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of SOPCL, said PIAC could have contacted governmental institutions charged with superintending its activities for the right information instead of coming out to tarnish the Company’s reputation.

He said he has instructed his lawyers to institute legal action against PIAC and “The Ghanaian Times”. Mr Sintim-Aboagye showed GNA a copy of a letter from Prudential Bank Limited to “The Head, Banking Department, Bank of Ghana, Accra”, stating: “Transfer of Funds. We attach herewith our Bank of Ghana cheque as stated below: Cheque number 995538. Beneficiary: Ministry of Energy- GOG Non-Tax Revenue Account No. 0223060099000. Remitter: Saltpond Offshore Producing Company Ltd. for an amount of US$93,619.41. This represents 3% royalty on December, 2008 sale of crude oil to Government of Ghana.” He also showed GNA a swift payment of US$ 104,268.12 through the UT Bank and Federal Reserve Bank of New York with BIC9 (Swift Code) FRNYUS33 to Bank of Ghana- Petroleum Fund Account number 021082366.(Being 3% Royalty on March 2012 sale of crude oil to Government of Ghana).

Mr Sintim-Aboagye expressed his displeasure about how some Ghanaians were bent on finding fault with the Company. He said it was the Company that put Ghana on the oil map of the world and thereby attracted the huge investments into the oil sector of the economy, irrespective of the small quantities of oil it produced. The Company has also been living up to its social responsibility, he said. It provided an electricity generator for the Maternity Section of Saltpond Government Hospital. It also gives scholarships to 20 pupils in its area of operation, who do well in the Basic Education Certificate Examinations to attend Senior High Schools annually.

Source: The Crystal Clear Len, 23rd May 2012

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Reporting Oil and Gas project was launched on 4th June 2009atTakoradi, Western Region, Ghana by Penplusbytes (PPB – www.penplusbytes.org) with the vision of providing a one stop online information and knowledge about Ghana’s oil and gas sector
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