The Executive Secretary of the Chamber of Petroleum Consumers Ghana (COPEC), Duncan Amoah, is charging the Ministry of Energy, Ministry of Finance, Bank of Ghana, government to come clean on gold-for-oil deal.
According to Mr. Amoah, the deal isn’t feasible and the consignment received has not impacted positively on Ghanaians as fuel prices have increased at the pumps.
He added that the Bank of Ghana, Ministry of Finance and government must communicate the details to Ghanaians and also spill the truth about using public funds for that purpose.
Mr. Amoah’s remarks follows the deputy Energy Minister, Andrew Egyapa Mercer, who disclosed that the initial consignment of 40,000 tons of oil brought into the country under the policy was purchased with cash and not gold, raising eye brows and confusion.
The government had earlier disclosed that the deal was purely a barter trade system where Ghana’s gold will be exchanged for oil rather than the use of U.S. dollar reserves, (hinted by the Vice-President, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia in a Facebook post)
Vice President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, further explained that the move would tackle dwindling foreign currency reserves coupled with demand for dollars by oil importers. This according to him kept weakening the local cedi and living standards of Ghanaians and will ultimately fix the Cedi depreciation and augment government’s efforts to curb rising fuel prices.
It will fundamentally change our balance of payments and significantly reduce the persistent depreciation of our currency, Dr Bawumia said.
Government has assured however that the effects will be realized eventually as it is still early days yet.
In contravention of the Vice President’s claims , fuel prices have increased twice since Ghana took delivery of the 40,000 tons of oil and adding to cost of living.
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,” Mr. Amoah explained in a Citi News discourse.
He also questioned government’s failure 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 queried.
Other policy analysts both locally and internationally have expressed skepticism over this deal and its impact on the economy, categorically on fuel prices and Cedi depreciation.