The Executive Secretary of the Chamber of Petroleum Consumers Ghana (COPEC), Duncan Amoah, is charging government to spell out the nitty-gritty of the gold-for-oil policy to Ghanaians.
He said the policy seems dead on arrival because the oil delivered seems not to have any impact on pump prices as they keep increasing.
His call comes on the back of confirmation by the deputy Energy Minister, Andrew Egyapa Mercer, that the initial consignment of 40,000 tons of oil brought into the country under the policy was purchased with cash and not gold.
Despite countless claims by Vice President Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia that the gold-for-oil policy will reduce the pressure on forex and also present the country with cheaper fuel, fuel products have been increased twice since Ghana took delivery of the 40,000 tons of oil.
Speaking to Citi News, Mr. Amoah, advised government to come clean on the policy after it turned out that it paid cash for the oil urging government to halt the policy and concentrate on fixing the cedi.
“I think after this revelation, the ministry of energy, ministry of finance, Bank of Ghana, government itself should come clean and tell Ghanaians that, look we are going to use your public funds to now go into the realm or arena of forex trading… We do think that whatever details or the nitty-gritty of the gold-for-oil policy should be communicated so that we all depart from this gold-for-oil mantra and deal with the reality of the issue,” the Executive Secretary of COPEC asserted.
He added that “they need to give details so that we can all interrogate the issue, and not hide behind we are going to buy forex for the local market…only for it to turn out to be a fiasco, a lie, then I think that they have not treated all of us fairly. The gold-for-oil policy seems dead on arrival because the cargo that was delivered seemed not to have had any impact on pump prices. I think they should halt or end this dangerous expedition and go back to fixing the cedi”.
He asked why the government failed to auction dollars to the Bulk Oil Distribution Companies (BDCs).
“If you tell us gold-for-oil is a shield for forex so that the BDCs’ demand for forex and the pressure it puts on the cedi goes down, and it ends up that we rather took dollar, real cash from here to now go and import, shouldn’t you have auctioned the dollars to the private firms to reduce the pressure that the BDCs are facing as opposing to this dangerous transaction?” Mr. Amoah questioned.
Speaking at this year’s New Year School, Dr Bawumia said the gold for oil policy is the best for the country looking at the current economic challenges.
“…Ghana took delivery of its first cargo under the gold for oil policy. This is our test cargo, it is the cargo to test the framework if everything that has been put in place will work, by the grace of God the Framework will work and if that should happen we are going to save a lot of foreign exchange and reduce the pressure on our currency.”