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Ghana: Press Highlights GH¢600m more revenue raked in by Ghana’s first digital project, others

The report that Ghana's first digital project to monitor petroleum products lifted from depots across the country has recorded over…

The report that Ghana’s first digital project to monitor petroleum products lifted from depots across the country has recorded over GH¢600 million more revenue in six months than the same period the year before is one of the leading stories in the Ghanaian press on Monday.The Graphic reports that Ghana’s first digital project to monitor petroleum products lifted from depots across the country has recorded over GH¢600 million more revenue in six months than the same period the year before.

The achievement follows the implementation of the digitisation programme rolled out by the government in June last year.

The achievement follows the implementation of the digitisation programme rolled out by the government in June last year.

The monitoring system, being implemented by a private digital assurance firm, Strategic Mobilisation Ghana Ltd (SML), recorded a GH¢744.73-million increment in the value of products lifted between June and December last year, compared to the GH¢133.23 million recorded between the same period in 2019 before the digital monitoring system was deployed.

In the first three months of this year alone, the digital monitoring system recorded GH¢333.67 million positive variance in products lifted, more than twice what was recorded in six months (June to December) 2019.

Figures made available to the Daily Graphic indicate that the difference in the volume of petrol, diesel and LPG products lifted from the various depots for June 2020 to March 2021, compared with from June 2019 to March 2020, stood at 752,460,780 litres, which amounted to GH¢1.072 billion.

Ghana’s consumption of petroleum products records marginal increases each year. However, on many occasions, the variances are understated, due to inefficient monitoring systems.

The newspaper says that research in the country’s marine resources claims that nine out of every 10 fishing trawlers operating in the country are beneficially owned by Chinese corporations.

This is in spite of a prohibition against foreign ownership or control of trawlers flying the country’s flags.

According to findings of the study, the foreign owners usually operated through local front companies using opaque corporate structures to import their vessels, which they registered and with which they obtained licences to fish.

It also estimated that Ghana was currently losing between $14.4 million and $23.7 million annually in the trawl sector due to low licence fees, as well as the lack of enforcement of revenue for fisheries-related infringements.

However, the agency responsible for regulating the sector, the Fisheries Commission, has disputed the findings of the study conducted by a UK-based non-governmental organisation, the Environmental Justice Foundation (EJF).

The commission described as “unfortunate” suggestions claiming that an estimated 90 per cent of trawlers operating in the country were beneficially owned by Chinese corporations.

The EJF, which supports countries in sustainable fishing and marine activities, presented the findings of the study in Accra at a roundtable.

The Graphic also reports that the Ghana Export Promotion Authority (GEPA) won the bid to host the World Trade Promotion Organisation (WTPO), conference and awards, originally scheduled for 2020 but was postponed to November this year due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

In a media release issued in Accra by GEPA, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Authority, Dr Afua Asabea Asare, said about 250 representatives from all trade promotion organisations worldwide were expected at the conference.

“The WTPO conference and awards is a high-profile forum for Trade and Investment Promotion Organisations (TIPO) across the globe to share insightful experiences and ideas for trade, investment and business sustainability,” she said.

The event is also expected to address the current trade environment and the uncertainties that might arise, along with outlining what it will take for organisations to adapt and thrive in this context.

Meanwhile, the GEPA CEO, Dr. Asare has paid a courtesy visit to the Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC), in Abuja to discuss ways of collaborative support for the conference and awards.

The CEO of the NEPC, Mr. Segun Awolowo, assured of the Council’s support to GEPA to ensure success.

The WTPO conference and awards is organised under the auspices the International Trade Centre (ITC) every two years and is often attended by about 125 different TIPOs, usually represented by CEOs and business decision makers.

The Times says that Liquefied Petroleum Gas Marketing Companies have appealed to the government to review its decision to introduce 18 pesewas tax on every kilogramme of gas bought by a consumer.

It believes such action will derail efforts of boosting the LPG gas penetration from the current 25 per cent to 50 per cent.

Gabriel Kumi, Vice Chairman of the LPG Marketing Companies Association of Ghana told a cross-section of the media that the imposition of the tax would not only increase their operating income but would also overburden consumers as many people might not be able to purchase gas as fuel for cooking.

“We’re appealing to the government to reconsider the decision to introduce 18 pesewas on the LPG and withdraw it so that we can save the industry. We need to encourage more people to use the product…we can save mother Ghana at the end of the day,” he said.

In his view, LPG is a product with an elastic demand which calls for reduction in prices to stimulate growth.

“LPG is a product with an elastic demand which means the only way you can ensure growth is to bring down prices so you attract a lot of people into the consumption net so that the government’s objective can be achieved. But unfortunately, we see the government acting contrary to its own objective and we think that’s not the way to go, ” Mr. Kumi said.

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