Ghanaian civil society groups within the tax space, have urged Parliament to investigate tax waivers granted a Chinese Petrochemical Corporation, the SINOPEC Group, through an Engineering, Procurement, Construction and Commissioning (EPCC) agreement in 2014.
The $152 million tax waiver was approved by Parliament on goods and equipment imported or purchased locally for the Western Corridor Gas Infrastructure Development Project.
Following its conference on illicit financial flows into Ghana, the groups, led by the Integrated Social Development Center (ISODEC), accused the then Parliament of negligence hence the call.
In a Citi News interview, ISODEC’s Campaign Coordinator, Dr. Steve Manteaw, said Parliament did not follow the due process, but still found time to approve the tax waivers.
“Parliament was a bit negligent in not ensuring that due processes were followed in terms of ratifying that transaction which was essentially an international transaction between Ghana Gas, a Ghanaian entity, and an international entity, SINOPEC.”
Waivers approved without perusing contract
Dr. Steve Manteaw also noted that “the same Parliament, however went out of its way to approve tax waivers which were contained in the contract without seeing the contract itself, and therefore not able to satisfy itself on the grounds for the tax waivers.”
He conceded that, an investigation may not correct this mistake, “but will help to lay down processes that will forestall a re-occurrence of these situations.”
Sinopec International Petroleum Services Ghana Limited, a subsidiary of China Petroleum & Chemical Corporation SINOPEC of China, is helping the Ghana National Gas Company Limited (GNGCL) build a multipurpose port facility.
The facility at Domunli in the Jomoro District of the Western Region, is primarily meant for exporting Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) and condensates from the Atuabo Gas Processing Plant (GPP) by sea to Tema.
The company in an earlier arrangement was able to raise funding towards construction of the Atuabo Gas Processing plant with about $1 billion within a year to complete development of the gas plant.