Parliament’s Energy & Mines Committee commends SML’s set-up

Samuel Atta Akyea, Chairperson of the Mines and Energy Committee of Parliament & Dr. Yaa Serwaa Sarpong, Director, Support Services - SML Ghana

…awaits KPMG audit on controversial revenue contract

Strategic Mobilisation Ghana Limited (SML) has received commendation from Samuel Atta Akyea, Chairperson of the Mines and Energy Committee of Parliament, following a visit by the committee to SML’s office in Tema.

Mr. Atta Akyea lauded the set-up of the revenue audit firm as “world-class”, and urged other stakeholders to visit the facility to ascertain the impact the company is having on the country’s revenue mobilisation.

The company has faced scrutiny over the necessity, cost and duration of its contract with the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) for revenue assurance services in the petroleum and mineral sectors, spurred by the documentary ‘The GH¢ 3 Billion Lie’ produced by media entity, The Fourth Estate.

In response, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo instructed advisory firm KPMG to conduct an audit of the contract.

Mr. Atta Akyea, refraining from prejudicing the case, expressed the committee’s objective during their visit to SML: “We came here to familiarise ourselves with this matter… We want the President to complete his side and we will engage them; but I believe, so far, that this is a world-class set-up”.

He clarified that the committee would reserve judgment on the contract’s propriety until after engaging formally with SML following the release of the KPMG report. “We will not delve into the financials just yet because that is what KPMG is investigating… If you look at what they have here and they say this is a Ghanaian initiative, then we should give them a standing ovation. But if there is any impropriety, it will come to light later,” he remarked.

Mr. Atta Akyea expressed satisfaction with the technological prowess exhibited by SML and suggested that the figures reported by the GRA underscored the significance of SML in the nation’s revenue mobilisation framework.

Last week, data from the tax authority suggested a positive correlation between the significant increase in GH¢12.9billion from the petroleum sector and implementing the revenue assurance contract in December 2019, with operations starting formally in June 2020.

The Parliamentary Committee Chair, however, expressed his disdain for elements which are speaking to the sensitive matter and running to conclusion without much information.

“What I hate is to try to do propaganda when you do not have the facts, and that is what some people are doing. Some do not have any clue as to what the company is doing, yet they have come to a conclusion already and for me, that is very sad. You do not run a nation this way, especially when there is a Ghanaian initiative,” he stated.

He expressed the belief that more participation will be seen from across both sides of the parliamentary divide in addressing any outstanding issues.

Employing the analogy of a kitchen, Director, Support Services – SML Ghana, Dr. Yaa Serwaa Sarpong, said there is enough evidence to show engagements with regulatory bodies. “The petroleum sector is a heavily regulated one and just as no one can just walk into your kitchen to cook, there is no way we could have started operations without the go ahead from all the key players,” she said.

She was also confident that the next few weeks will not only vindicate SML, but further deepen appreciation for its intervention.


In a December 2023 investigative report, The Fourth Estate alleged irregularities in a purported 10-year contract between SML, GRA and the Ministry of Finance, with an annual payment of US$100million.

SML swiftly denied the claim, asserting that their contract duration with GRA was five years, not ten as alleged. The GRA, in a statement on December 20, 2023, corroborated SML’s stance, stating that proper procurement procedures were followed.

Following sustained public discourse, on January 3, 2024, SML welcomed President Akufo-Addo’s directive to suspend its ongoing revenue assurance operations and undergo an audit of its contracts with GRA and the Ministry of Finance. President Akufo-Addo appointed KPMG, an esteemed audit, tax and advisory services firm, to conduct an immediate audit. However, the President extended the audit time-frame following a request from KPMG.

Despite this, SML expressed confidence that the audit would provide a transparent and accurate depiction of its operations.

The company has since filed a suit against The Fourth Estate, GH¢10million in damages, comprising GH¢1million for general damages for defamation and GH¢9million for exemplary damages due to the alleged reckless and malicious nature of the defendants’ reporting.

Additionally, SML is seeking a perpetual injunction to restrain the defendants from publishing further defamatory material and a retraction and apology with the same coverage, means and prominence as the original publications.

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