The Chamber of Bulk Oil Distributors, CBOD, has commended the government for launching the National Retail Outlet Fuel Monitoring System.
The system is aimed at helping government reduce revenue losses within the petroleum downstream sector.
CBOD had in a recent report stated that GH₵1.9 billion was lost through petroleum tax evasion in 2019.
Speaking to Citi Business News, Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana CBOD, Senyo Hosi, indicated that although the idea is commendable, efforts must be made to coordinate all information on the sector to address the issue of tax evasion.
“It is a fantastic idea, it is good, it will be helpful, but it is one piece of data. In fighting the smuggling, it’s not just having data scattered around, it’s about exactly how we would be coordinating with all the various pockets of data.”
He stressed that “we definitely need a very thorough coordinated approach in dealing with smuggling which would encompass every single data sector that currently exists, its proper analysis, its proper monitoring and a restructuring of the key regulatory and policy framework governing the tax revenue dynamics of the petroleum downstream sector”.
As part of efforts aimed at eliminating illicit activities associated with the transportation and effective distribution of petroleum products across the country, the government introduced the National Retail Outlet Fuel Monitoring System.
Already, data from the National Petroleum Authority (NPA) show that between 2015 and 2019, the government lost over four billion Ghana Cedis in tax revenue because of illegal activities in the petroleum downstream sector.
Organisations like the Chamber of Petroleum Consumers welcomed the move by the government but insist that prosecution of offenders would be the key deterrent for persons complicit in the fuel smuggling syndicate.