The SML/GRA agreement is a clear example of how to create, plunder and share – Sam George

Ningo-Prampram Member of Parliament, Sam George, has joined the chorus of criticism surrounding the controversial contract between the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) and Strategic Mobilization Limited (SML), adding his voice to the growing scrutiny.

In his assessment, he characterized the deal as a textbook example of what former Supreme Court Justice Jones Dotse called “creating, plundering and sharing.”

According to George, the agreement was crafted with the intention of diverting funds from state coffers, presenting it as a mechanism designed to facilitate embezzlement.

In an appearance on JoyNews’ Newsfile program on Saturday, May 25, the outspoken politician urged the public not to overlook the involvement of former Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta, in the controversial deal.

From George’s perspective, Ofori-Atta’s role in the deal cannot be ignored as he believes the former minister probably sanctioned him and is now trying to evade responsibility.

“The SML or SMEL agreement is a clear example of what Justice Dotse described as creating, plundering and sharing. One thing Ghanaians must keep in mind is that all of this occurred with the tacit approval of the then Minister of Finance, Ken Ofori -Atta.”

“As always, he tries to fly under the radar and people don’t realize the critical role he played in this whole deal,” he said.

Mr. George also characterized the GRA as a “crime scene.”

“The Ghana Revenue Authority, in my humble opinion, is a crime scene and is the biggest purveyor of corruption in our public service. I suggest disillusionment and a reconstitution of the entire GRA. The GRA is supposed to be the body to ensure that no one evades taxes and in this SML agreement, the GRA itself failed to recover taxes,” he added.

On Wednesday, May 22, President Akufo-Addo released the KPMG audit report into the controversial contract between the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) and Strategic Mobilization Limited (SML).

This revelation came after weeks of pressure from Ghanaians, including civil society organisations, demanding transparency into the numerous breaches of the contract.

The audit results revealed that SML owes the GRA GH¢31.88 million in unpaid taxes for eight months of service provision.

This debt includes accrued interest, which is estimated at GH¢18.50 million as at January 31, 2024. All of these contracts lacked approval from both the Public Procurement Authority (PPA) and Parliament.

Furthermore, the report revealed that the GRA had six service contracts with SML, contradicting the presidency’s initial claim of only three contracts.

This discrepancy is in stark contrast to information previously stated in a press release from Presidential Communications Director Eugene Arhin on April 24.

The revelations have sparked significant public outrage, with many Ghanaians calling for the immediate cancellation of the deal and the prosecution of those responsible.

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