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NewsWe will investigate opaque gold for oil programme and expose benefiting actors...

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We will investigate opaque gold for oil programme and expose benefiting actors when I become president – Mahama

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Opposition flagbearer John Dramani has pledged to investigate the government’s gold-for-oil policy should he secure the presidency, citing concerns over transparency.

Mr Mahama asserts that the arrangement lacks clarity and necessitates a comprehensive inquiry. 

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Introduced by the government in 2021, the gold-for-oil deal aimed to address the depreciation of the cedi and the surge in fuel prices.

Addressing the 3rd Annual Transformational Dialogue on Small-scale Mining at the University of Energy and Natural Resources (UENR) in Sunyani, the leader of the main opposition National Democratic Congress emphasised revisiting the deal. 

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He stated, “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 policy in 2022 as part of efforts to counteract Ghana’s diminishing foreign currency reserves and the increasing demand for dollars by oil importers, both of which contribute to the depreciation of the Cedi and rising living costs.

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Through the G4O program, Ghana seeks to obtain competitively priced oil through gold trading, with the goal of easing pressure on the Cedi, stabilizing fuel prices, and addressing balance of payment challenges.

As of March 2023, Ghana had acquired over 60,000 ounces of gold, valued at more than $97 million, from local mines. However, the Precious Minerals Marketing Company (PMMC) aims to procure at least 160,000 ounces of gold, valued at approximately $300 million monthly, to fulfill around half of the country’s monthly oil demand.

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