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We support Gold for Oil policy but not its biased implementation – CBOD CEO

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The CEO of the Chamber of Bulk Oil Distributors (CBOD) clarified that its members support the government’s Gold for Oil policy but are concerned about its uneven implementation. Dr. Patrick Ofori explained on Joy News’ PM Express that they endorse the policy to anticipate potential issues.

However, he emphasized the Bulk Oil Distributing Companies (BDCs) stance, stating, “Technically, we are not opposed, but we contest the skewed implementation in favor of public entities.”

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“This was to ensure that although this is a temporary fix, we find a way of formalizing and structuring it with every stakeholder being relevant and knowing that their perspectives have been considered”.

“In technical terms, we are not against it, but we are against the way the implementation has been skewed in favour of public entities,” he stated.

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“What we are saying is that the central bank has done remarkably well when it came onboard with the forex option, but we are advocating that since they already have an existing relationship with us and our banks.

“What we require is that even if you don’t trust and regulate us, at least you regulate the financial institution, let’s cede our cedi to the financial institution so they will pass it onwards to the BoG and as they manage with the auction, they also use that to procure the gold and the resultant forex will be accumulated to us,” he said.

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Dr. Ofori highlighted BDCs’ concern, noting their longstanding relations with international players, independent of BOST’s involvement. He questioned the sudden shift in perception, especially when BDCs sustained the market during BOST’s debt crisis.

He questioned the preference for Sentuo Oil Refinery Limited over BDCs, emphasizing the need to extend benefits beyond the 40% allocation.

Dr. Ofori proposed a similar structure for Independent Power Producers (IPPs) and Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) to avoid blaming only BDCs for currency fluctuations.

Background:

Introduced in November 2022, the Gold for Oil policy aimed to exchange gold for petroleum products, aiming to reduce dollar demand for fuel imports and curb currency devaluation.

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