Common Platform to save state US$66m – Ursula

The Revenue Assurance and Traffic Monitoring Centre also known as Common Platform (CP), is to save the state US$66 million over a five-year period, Communications Minister, Mrs. Ursula Owusu-Ekuful, has disclosed.

The CP offers real time monitoring of all traffic and revenue generated from mobile and fixed network operators and was launched by President Akufo-Addo in October 2018.

“So far, the results that it has achieved is evident of less cost and more value for the state,” Mrs. Owusu-Ekuful said when she took her turn at the Meet the Press series in Accra.

She said since its inception, it had saved the nation US$1.1 million every month, translating into a total savings of US$66 million over the five-year period of the contract. The $89 million contract awarded to Kelni GVG to operate revenue assurance and traffic monitoring centre for Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) met some resistance from a section of the public who described as a waste of the public purse

Prior to the Common Platform, she said the National Communications Authority (NCA) and the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) paid in excess of US$2.5 million every month for revenue assurances and traffic monitoring services.

Aside the savings to state, it also provides real time information on the volumes and values of transaction of mobile money, fraud management – Sim Box Tracking and Geo-location.

“Unlike the previous contracts, the CP offers real time monitoring of 2.5 billion transactions per day within the telecom sector as well as mobile money monitoring as an added component,” she noted, adding that its fraud management component has from inception to date, made tax savings of over GH205.6 million.

Over the life of the contract, the ministry expects the CP to deliver tax savings of approximately GHS795.9 million.

It also comes with a state-of-the-art fraud management system known as TELECOP, through which the CP originates over 150,000 international calls into Ghana every month to detect fraudulent SIMs automatically.

On Revenue Assurance, she said the CP enables the GRA to determine the right revenue due the state by top-ups, measurement of top-ups per operator, among others.

She said, “the GRA is now able to verify the various revenue streams of the MNOs, plug revenue leakages and more accurately predict revenue trends from the sector for planning and policy formulation.”

Among other things, she said it has been uncovered that, prior to the introduction of the CP, about GHS 300 million in taxes was lost from potential under declarations between 2015 to Q1 of 2017, whereas an estimated GH470 million in taxes was saved between Q1 of 2017 to date as a result of the implementation of the CP on March 8th, 2017 and its actual implementation to date.

“There would have been a potential loss of a total of GHS 1.5 billion through to the end of the CP contract, had the CP not been implemented,” the Minister further stated.

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