Revenue Mobilization Africa, a not-for-profit organization has cautioned government, particularly the Ministry of Energy not to approve the Anadarko–Total SA deal until all taxes owed the state are duly paid.
The organization in a statement issued in Accra by its Executive Director Geoffrey Kabutey Ocansey expressed concern about the many speculative news stories regarding the sale of Anadarko operations in Ghana to Total SA, arguing that it finds the situation very disturbing because “we expect the Ministry of Energy to be fully transparent and voluntarily share with citizens, information of such significant interest to the public.”
According to the statement, the Anadarko deal with Total SA, deserves high national attention and priotisation because at stake is about 24% of the Jubilee Oil Field and 17% of the Tweneboah-EnyeraNtomme (TEN) project.
It demands of the Ministry of Energy to refrains from any planned approval of the Anadarko-Total SA deal and work with the GRA to acquire and share a status report on the current tax situation of Anadarko and to ensure that all taxes owed the country are fully recovered ahead of approving the sale and take-over of assets of Anadarko by Total SA to avoid the occasion of financial loss to the country.”
The organization also wants the Ministry of Energy to make public, all the requirements expected of Anadarko to qualify for approval of the Anadarko-Total Transaction to ensure full transparency on this matter, while committing to actively contribute to the fight against Illicit Financial Flows in the country through vigilance and awareness of the different schemes through which Transnational Corporations seek to increase their profits to the detriment of their host countries.
It said an anonymous officials within the Ministry of Finance and the Ghana Revenue Authority estimated that gains from Anadarko’s operations in the Jubilee Field and the TEN project before the sale, amounted to about $4.4 billion; and that gains to Anadarko from the Sale to Total SA is about $2.5 billion.
We note, that the potential revenue from the transaction to the country will be great whilst any effort to aid or abet evasion will be grave for the revenue needs of the country. Before the public receives full briefing and information on the transaction a member of the ruling party and a former deputy minister of energy has put out what he considers to be a conservative amount owed to the country by Anadarko – a whopping $500 million. The threat of Illicit Financial Flows to African Economies The World Bank acknowledges that IFFs pose a huge challenge to the political and economic security of developing countries.
The statement pointed out that Procedural Breach and Potential Financial Loss Information from the Ministry of Energy that was presented by the current Deputy Minister of Energy indicates that, Anadarko petroleum has met majority of the requirements that will guarantee their sale transaction with only tax clearance outstanding.
Sardonically, “as we probed further, reliable information indicates that Anadarko Petroleum has already sold its assets in Ghana to Total SA at an amount of 2.5 million dollars in 2019. The sale has clearly preceded the laid down process of acquiring approval from the Ministry of Energy. Aside from the procedural breach there is a higher risk of financial loss to Ghana, and this is highly possible than impossible as it stands.”
It added that, “While the ministry awaits information on tax clearance obligations of Anadarko from the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) before it possibly grants permission for any sale (transfer of ownership), Anadarko has completed the sale of its assets to Total SA, a move which the deputy Minister was adequately informed about and ironically expressed hope that Total SA operating in Ghana will bring a significant boost to our oil and gas industry.”
Revenue Mobilization Africa(RM-Africa) is a not-for-profit organization working to ensure effective revenue mobilization and efficient application of tax resources in Africa.