18th May 2024

The Auditor-General’s (A-G) report has revealed that two telecommunication companies, Vodafone and Glo, are yet to pay debts of more than GHC25 million they owe the National Communications Authority (NCA).

It indicated that while Glo owes the government GHC17 million for services it received from the NCA, including its operating licence, Vodafone owes a GHC8.9 million fine it was slapped with for non-compliance to quality-of-service requirements in 2018.

“We noted that the government revenue amounting to GHC17, 014,402.26 and $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 GHC2,292,004.93 included in the revenue totalling GHC17,014,402.26 due by May 2018 was outstanding as of July 2019,” the report said of 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.”

The Authority said that new payment plan was approved in July 2019 to enable Glo to settle the debt.

Glo has since paid only $386,355.99 out of the $736,339.76 and an amount of GHC1,160,840.74 out of the GHC17,014,402.26 debt.

The A-G said it 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.”

Vodafone’s case

In November 2018, the NCA fined Mobile Network Operators (MNOs); AirtelTigo, Glo, MTN and Vodafone for their non-compliance with various Quality of Service (QoS) requirements.

The four were fined a total of GHC34,065,000 with Vodafone’s share being 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 GHC8,890,000.00 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.”

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