Touting the success of the policy which is currently in its third month of implementation, the vice president said the country will witness more benefits from the policy which ultimately will help stabilise the exchange rate as well as prices of fuel.
“We have to understand, the prices of fuel will go up and will come down. But what we expect to see under the Gold-For-Oil Policy is more stability in the pricing and also savings in foreign exchange. There is more to come, this is the third month of the operation of the policy.
“Some people said it will not work; Ghana does not have enough gold. How can you say that? We’ve been mining this gold for 200 years; they keep taking it out and it cannot work for us? It doesn’t make sense.
“There are people who are very disappointed that it is working but bleeding is allowed. We have an impossibility mindset. They can keep to it, for us all things are possible by the grace of God.”
According to the Vice President, the country will make an annual savings of some US$4.8 billion in foreign exchange when the policy is optimised to cover 100% of the country’s foreign imports by the end of the year as projected.
“I’ve been told that next week we are likely to see a reduction in fuel prices and next week is actually not far. It is tomorrow. Tomorrow we will see the decline in prices that we expect. This is remarkable. Two and a half months ago you were at 23 cedis and today you are at 12 cedis per litre and falling. That is a good point.
“But let me note that the most important aspect of the Gold-for-oil policy is not just the reduction in fuel prices. But the most important aspect is the savings in foreign exchange that the Bank of Ghana will make as a result of the lower demand for forex to import oil.
“That saving is huge, we are currently importing about 50 to 60 per cent of oil under this policy, the goal is to move to 100% and that will be done this year,” the vice president stated while commissioning a new head office for the state-owned Bulk Oil Storage and Transportation Company Limited (BOST).
About the Gold-for-oil policy
Last year, Dr. Bawumia announced a new government policy dubbed gold-for-oil. The policy, as explained by the government, is to allow the government to pay for imported oil products with gold, in a direct barter with gold purchased by the Central Bank.
The policy despite its projected outcome has received heavy criticism.
A flagbearer hopeful of the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP), Kennedy Ohene Agyapong in a recent radio interview, condemned the government’s Gold-for-Oil policy.
Kennedy Agyapong advanced the view that instead of selling raw gold, government should pursue a path of refining the mineral and adding value to the mineral before selling it.
Giving his thoughts on the gold-for-oil policy, Ken Agyapong said “Does it make sense to you to buy oil with gold? Why don’t you sell your gold, make the money and go and buy the oil?”
The lawmaker also expressed his disappointment in party members who support and defend the policy. Adding that he didn’t go to school but there are simple things the government can do to purchase the oil.
“I didn’t go to school but I know Economics. There are simple things that we can do. And I’m surprised, we say we have the men and we are hailing this? We are hailing gold for oil? Jesus Christ! We need to move, move,” he said.