A group known as Revenue Mobilization – Africa (RM-Africa), is urging the government of Ghana to ensure that all taxes owed by Anadarko are fully settled before the company is allowed to sell off its stake in the Jubilee and TEN oilfields to Total SA.
Anadarko, which currently has a 24 percent stake in the Jubilee oilfields and 17 percent of the Tweneboah-Enyera-Ntomme (TEN), is seeking to trade it for an amount reported to be about US$2.5 billion.
A statement issued by the group said it found the situation to be disturbing as it expects the Ministry of Energy to be fully transparent and share voluntary information of such significant interest with the public.
“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 statement added.
The statement, which was signed by the Executive Secretary of the organisation, Geoffrey Kabutey Ocansey, called on the Energy Ministry to refrain 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.
Mr. Ocansey further demanded that the Ministry makes public, all the requirements expected of Anadarko to qualify for approval of the Anadarko-Total Transaction to ensure full transparency on this matter.
Anadarko must settle $500 million tax obligation before they exit Ghana – KT Hammond
The Member of Parliament for Adansi Asokwa, Kwabena Tahiru Hammond, is demanding the payment of US$500 million dollars in tax revenue by petroleum firm Anardarko, before they exit the country.
The Energy Ministry is set to approve the sale of the Ghana operations of Anadarko Petroleum Corporation, to one of the country’s oil production partners, French oil giant, TOTAL SA.
This comes after Anadarko sold its four operations in Africa — Algeria, South Africa, Mozambique and Ghana — to TOTAL SA, an upstream exploration and production company, for $8.8 billion last year.
Illicit Financial Flows
According to Revenue Mobilization Africa, Illicit Financial Flows (IFFs) pose a huge challenge to the political and economic security of developing countries.
Citing the World Bank Group, the group stated that, IFFs which include corruption, fraud in international trade and tax evasion are harmful to poor countries as they divert money from public priorities.
“Transnational corporations operating in Africa and other parts of the developing world do everything in their power, through very creative skirting around of tax laws of host countries to pay as little tax as possible for bigger profits.
“IFFs result from deliberate attempts to avoid tax obligations by companies, sometimes with the connivance of persons with the responsibility to protect the interest of the state through schemes such as mis-invoicing, manipulation of prices of transactions and abuse of tax exemptions regimes. IFFs are estimated to cost between USD 60 billion to 1 trillion annually to African economies, up from USD 20 billion in 2001,” the group noted,
Mr. Ocansey called on ENegry Ministry to demonstrate its commitment 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.
by Richard Annerquaye Abbey