Dr. Steve Manteaw, spokesperson for the Civil Society Organization in the Extractive Industry, has disclosed that the Gold for Oil policy cannot help reduce the high fuel prices in the country.
Dr. Manteaw’s comes after ranking member of the mines and energy committee in parliament, Hon John Jinapor, noted that the Deputy Minister for Energy, Andrew Egyapa Mercer had disclosed on a panel that the first consignment of oil was purchased with the cash from the bank of Ghana. The Minority in Parliament is therefore calling for the suspension of the programme until full disclosure and consultation with stakeholders are done.
Mr. Jinapor stated that the government is taking Ghanaians on PR ride without giving out the needed information of the deal.
“We are not asking that government should completely abandon this project or program. Our point is that let’s consult further, let’s build consensus, let’s cross the Ts and dot the Is. So that we can all have a program which will be all-encompassing, which will deal with the challenges holistically,” Mr. Jinapor stated.
“You and I will go to the pump and pay almost 13 to 14 percent higher than we were paying even before this gold for oil policy was implemented. I think that the government should suspend this policy and consult further.”Mr. Jinapor
Mr. John Jinapor continued by saying, “When we do that, we will make progress as a country, but when you conduct this policy and program in such an opaque manner, without due diligence process, without any competitive process, you are going to see the kind of challenges that you are seeing.”
Commenting on policy, Dr. Manteaw revealed that the quantity received into the country does not match up to 10% of the country’s monthly consumption.
“First and foremost the government itself projects that our monthly consumption of petroleum products is in the region of 350,000 metric tons. Now I do not understand why the government is so clear about our monthly consumption and yet he chose to bring it to just 40,000 metric tons which is a little bit over 10% of our monthly consumption.”Mr Manteaw
The spokesperson to a greater extent opined that Ghanaians should kill the hope that the petroleum products received under the Gold for Oil can have any effect on the market prices of fuel.
“ I did not anticipate that it will have any meaningful impact on the petroleum pricing. It means that the difference will be supplied through other means. The difference is actually bigger than what the government has brought in and therefore its effect on pricing wouldn’t be anything substantial.
“We won’t feel the impact at all unless the government is ready to bring in the full quantity that we consume on a monthly basis. Then at least we can say that for a particular month we will feel the impact. But if you are under-supplying to the market then of course you are not going to be able to affect the market prices.”Dr. Manteaw
Development So Far
Ghana has taken delivery of its first cargo under the gold for oil policy. The delivery is to test the framework if everything that has been put in place will work.
Vice President, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia assured Ghanaians that the Gold for Oil policy will make fuel cheaper in the country.
However, former President John Mahama has also called on the government to put before parliament, the Gold for Oil agreement for parliamentary scrutiny and approval since the deal is an international financial transaction.
The Deputy Minister for Energy, Hon Andrew Kofi Egyapa Mercer, noted that the Gold for Oil Program has all the relevant stakeholders on board for a smooth implementation.
“Government, the Ministry of Energy, the Vice President’s office, Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources, Bank of Ghana and the Chamber of Bulk Oil distributors, the private sector are members of a committee that was put together to see how we can get constant flow of petroleum products.
“So there are no shortages at a point as it is being experienced in some other countries including Nigeria our neighbors today. So the Gold for Oil Program was introduced to exchange gold for oil on the international trade market.”Egyapa
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