Edward Bawa, a member of Parliament’s Mines and Energy Committee, wants the government to provide details on the terms of engagement for the funds used in the purchase of the first consignment of oil under the government’s gold for oil policy.
The National Petroleum Authority (NPA) revealed that the initial 40,000 tonnes of diesel that arrived in January under the scheme were valued at US$40 million, which the Member of the Parliament for Bongo contends was pre-financed by the central bank.
Speaking to journalists, the lawmaker stated that the government must hold the transaction accountable to the public.
“You recall that the Deputy Minister of Energy, Andrew Egyapa Mercer said that the first consignment was not paid with gold but ore-financed by the Bank of Ghana. Question is, was it a loan to BOST? If it was, what were the terms of the engagement? That has not been made public. If you look at the quantity of petroleum that they bring, it is not enough to take care of the window.”
There have been several calls for government to provide contract details of the recent fuel consignment brought under the gold for oil policy.
What did Mercer say?
Deputy Energy Minister, Andrew Egyapa Mercer, has confirmed that the initial consignment of 40,000 tons of oil brought into the country under the Gold-for-oil policy was purchased with cash instead of gold.
He said the companies they dealt with initially did not have the capacity to exchange gold for oil.
“The policy actually started with an intent to do strict barter for gold and petroleum products, but it became apparent that any of the international oil trading companies that do not have a commodity wing to deal with gold on their behalf will be excluded from the policy.
“We developed the policy such that we were operating two streams, one was direct barter and the second was monetising the gold, so we can pay for IOTs that were not other commodity focused but solely petroleum products…so the test run that we did was actually paid through the second route.”