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Information available to ghananewsonline.com.gh reveals that the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) is opening fresh investigations into the deal that facilitated the purchase of some four helicopters for the Ghana Gas refinery at Atuabo in the Western Region of Ghana.
Sources at the GRA has in an interview disclosed that documents containing records of the purchase of the helicopters are missing and efforts made to trace them have been futile hence the decision to initiate some probe into the transactions.
Sources reveal that all parties involved in the purchase of the helicopters would be invited to provide details regarding the actual cost of the four helicopters with documents.
Officials likely to be invited for questioning include the former Chief Executive of the Ghana Gas Company, George Sipa Yankey, Former Chief Executive of the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC) Alex Mould, and the former Minister for Petroleum, Dr Kwabena Donkor and his deputy John Jinapor.
The four helicopters which cost the nation a whopping sum of US$150 million dollars are said to be sold in the open market for $32 million.
Dr Anthony Akoto-Osei, minister responsible for Monitoring and Evaluation has indicated that
The new government can now hold its predecessor to greater accountability regarding the purchasing of the helicopters.
“Fortunately, the main characters in the Ghana Gas Project are still around and we can call them to come and clarify issues on the award of contracts and others,” he stated.
Dr. Steve Manteaw, Head of the Integrated Social Development Centre (ISODEC) said the tax file of the project executors, Sinopec, couldn’t be traced in Accra or the Western Region hence the decision to open fresh Investigations.
Research, he said showed that the company was given tax concession by the Ghana Gas; an action which was against the Constitution as Parliament is the only body that can waive tax for foreign companies.
Interestingly, it was in 2016 that the Finance Ministry brought the tax file demanding that Sinopec should be exempted from tax.
Dr. Manteaw said it had to take diligence on his part to get GHC15m in taxes retrieved from Sinopec Gas Company.
This claim was corroborated by Dr. Akoto Osei, who also believes strongly that the helicopters were over-priced.
The choppers were bought with a Chinese loan or use by the Ghana Gas Company to help secure the company’s installations and respond to emergencies.
The choppers were also to “provide surveillance services and also to conduct medical evacuation and search and rescue operations in the event of any accident in the oil and gas sector”. The helicopters were commissioned by President John Mahama in 2015.
Source: Adu Koranteng