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HeadlineGold for Oil deal will be investigated by my gov't - Mahama

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Gold for Oil deal will be investigated by my gov’t – Mahama

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John Dramani Mahama, the flagbearer of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), has pledged to investigate the government’s gold-for-oil policy if elected president.

Mahama argues that the arrangement lacks transparency and therefore requires thorough scrutiny.

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The government introduced the gold-for-oil deal in 2021 to mitigate the depreciation of the cedi and the increase in fuel prices.

Addressing attendees at the 3rd Annual Transformational Dialogue on Small-scale Mining at the University of Energy and Natural Resources (UENR) in Sunyani, Mahama emphasized that the deal will be reevaluated under his administration.

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“We will investigate the opaque gold for oil programme and expose the actors benefiting from this so-called barter agreement. Reports reaching me suggest that a new debt burden is being created because Ghana has not been able to keep up with its delivery of gold under the programme.”

Vice President Mahamudu Bawumia introduced the Gold for Oil (G4O) policy in 2022 to address Ghana’s declining foreign currency reserves and the high demand for dollars by oil importers, which had contributed to the weakening of the Cedi and increased living costs.

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The G4O program aims to secure competitively priced oil by selling gold, thereby alleviating pressure on the Cedi, reducing soaring fuel prices, and addressing balance of payment issues.

By March 2023, the Precious Minerals Marketing Company (PMMC) had purchased over 60,000 ounces of gold worth more than $97 million from local mines.

However, the PMMC’s target is to purchase at least 160,000 ounces of gold valued at around $300 million per month. This amount could cover about 50% of the country’s monthly oil demand.

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