The Founding Editor-In-Chief of the Fourth Estate, Manasseh Azure Awuni, has raised questions about the value additions provided by Strategic Mobilization Ghana Limited (SML) to the upstream petroleum and gold production sectors.
The Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) in a statement that the consolidated contract gives SML more than $100 million a year noting that “By implication, if there is no value addition, SML is not paid.”
However, Manasseh Azure Awuni countered this claim, asserting that, based on the contract extended by the Finance Ministry, SML is not remunerated for value addition.
He clarified that SML is expected to be paid as long as production occurs, irrespective of any value addition to the petroleum upstream and gold sectors.
In a Twitter post on December 20, Manasseh wrote: “The GRA has made a major false claim in its press statement. On the consolidated contract that givesSML more than 100 Million US Dollars a year, the GRA said: “By implication, if there is no value addition, SML is not paid.” In the contract, however, SML is not expected to add value to the upstream and gold sectors. It will be paid as long as production takes place, as evidenced in the attached contracts. SML will receive 0.75$ PER BARREL of the 160,000 barrels of oil Ghana produces a day. SML will also receive 0.75% of the total gold production.”
The journalist further noted that using 2022 gold production figures, SML will be making about $50 million a year from the gold production alone.
“The contract says the company should monitor, so what value addition is the GRA talking about?” he further quizzed.
Meanwhile, GRA has refuted the claim that a 10-year contract has been awarded to SML. The GRA says the Finance Ministry signed a 5-year contract.
In response, Manasseh said “Granted that this is true, SML will still be making more than $100 Million a year for the next 5 years, if you add its earnings in the downstream sector.”
He added that the only time SML will not make money is when Ghana stops the production of oil or gold.