The state had lost nominal tax and levies revenue of about GH¢850 million last year as a result of huge drop in the sale of legitimate petroleum products by OMCs.
It dropped by about three percent when it ought to have rather increased by at least three percent.
At a press conference organised by the Association of Oil Marketing Companies (AOMCs) on illegal fuel trade in Accra yesterday, Mr Kweku Agyemang-Duah, Chief Executive Officer of the association, stated that these losses will definitely affect government’s ability to meet its revenue projections and the basic amenities and infrastructure of her citizens.
According to him, the amount lost last year and that estimated to be lost this year can significantly fund the government’s free SHS programme.
He stated the activities of these criminals are a threat to national security as they are creating a parallel industry, with the potential to fund illegal activities and produce destabilising agents to destroy the peace and stability of Ghana.
Mr Agyemang-Duah said as a result of the illegal activities by some OMCs, products supposedly meant for export to the landlocked countries such as Mali and Burkina Faso, which attract some tax, are diverted and sold on the local market to the consumers at relatively cheap price compared to those sold by legitimate operators like the OMCs whose prices contain full blown taxes and levies.
Some of the these nefarious activities, he further disclosed, take the form of illegal discharging or dumping of petroleum products on the market from unaccustomed vessels and boats.
“This is a situation where petroleum products are brought into the country through our designated ports at odd times or through unapproved waters along the coastline and dumped on the local market by vessels without going through the customs procedures and without paying the statutory taxes and levies.
“These irresponsible individuals and entities also bypass the requisite quality assurance checks by the Ghana Standards Authority, thereby openly dump low quality fuel on the market,” he bemoaned.
He said the association, therefore, appealed to President Akufo-Addo to get all the bona fide agencies and institutions involved to deploy the full might of their mandate to bring the canker to a halt once and for all.