The Audit Service discovered that telecom companies, Vodafone and Glo, have yet to pay the National Communications Authority(NCA) debts totaling more than GH¢25 million .
In its audit report on public boards corporations and other statutory institutions for the fiscal year ending December 2020, the Service stated that while Glo owed the government GH¢17 million for services received from the NCA, including its operating licence, Vodafone owed GH¢8.9 million as a fine for noncompliance with quality-of-service requirements in 2018.
“We noted that government revenue amounting to GH¢17,014,402.26 and US$736,330.76 had accrued as a result of various services provided by NCA including licences issued to Globacom Ghana to enable it to operate within Ghana’s Telecommunications Space. We also noted that an amount of GH¢2,292,004.93 included in the revenue totalling GH¢17,014,402.26 due by May 2018 was outstanding as of July 2019,” the report concerning Glo’s indebtedness.
Per the report, the management of the NCA indicated that it had been in constant touch with Glo to retrieve the debt and that the company had explained that they had “cash flow challenges which they are working to improve upon.”
According to the NCA, a new payment plan was approved in July 2019 to enable Glo to settle the debt.
Glo has since paid only US$386,355.99 out of the US$736,339.76 and an amount of GH¢1,160,840.74 out of the GH¢17,014,402.26 debt.
The auditors said they advised the NCA following the discovery that they needed to tighten their revenue accounting systems to avert such a situation and ensure that it recovers in full the debt Glo owes, including “interest at the prevailing Bank of Ghana Treasury bill discount rate with evidence of recovery for audit certification.”
The NCA fined Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) AirtelTigo, Glo, MTN, and Vodafone in November 2018 for failing to meet various Quality of Service (QoS) requirements. The four were fined GHC34,065,000 in total, with Vodafone receiving GHC8,890,000.00.
According to the Auditor-General’s report, despite an invoice generated on December 21, 2018,and sent to Vodafone for the payment no payment was made as of July 2019.
Vodafone has appealed against the sanctions and the issue is currently before the Electronic Communications Tribunal, but the report said it had “entreated Management to recover the unpaid amount of GH¢8,890,000.00 plus interest as stated in Section 83(2) of the Electronic Communications Act.2009 (Act 786) and further recommended to Management to ensure that, all amounts owed the Authority under transactions of similar nature are retrieved from the beneficiaries with documentary proof for audit verification.”