Ghana makes $14m in three months after monitoring inbound foreign calls

Telecoms

The government of Ghana has in three months made more than $14 million as non-tax revenue from monitoring inbound international calls that Ghanaian mobile phone users receive, according to a report by the Daily Graphic newspaper.

The newspaper says the money was made from the implementation of the International Call Gateway Monitoring Project which blocks the use of fraudulent means by telecoms operators to deny the state of needed revenue.

The report indicated that within the same period the government has been able to identity fraudulent lines being used by some telecoms operators in the country as illegal SIM boxes for the termination of international calls. The system makes calls from abroad appear as if they are emanating from within the country.
The Minister of Communications, Haruna Iddrisu, made this known in a policy statement at the opening of the 18th Plenipotentiary Conference (PP-10) of the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) in Guadalajara, Mexico.

In June this year the Ministry of Communications announced that the country’s mobile phone subscribers will be charged a flat rate of 19 US cents a minute for all inbound international calls that they received.

The Ghana News Agency had reported that when the order is enforced with strict monitoring by a Haitian company, Global Voices Group (GVG) SA, and the National Communications Authority (NCA) the country would generate at least $60 million a year in the form of taxes on the inbound international calls.

Currently there are five mobile phone companies operating in Ghana, a sixth is yet to start operations, and they altogether have over 15 million subscribers among Ghana’s about 22 million population.

Before the implementation of the monitoring system, Ghana lost as much as $5.8 million to fraudulent incoming internationals calls that came into the country in March alone, the Minister was reported to have said.

He had told journalists in Accra that the fraud was being perpetrated by unidentified persons, adding that so far about 3,000 landline and cell phone numbers have been identified as being used for that fraud.