The gold for oil policy has nothing to do with the decline in fuel costs – Minority

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According to the Deputy Minority leader, Emmanuel Armah Kofi Buah, the government’s program to exchange cash for gasoline has nothing to do with the recent drop in the price of petroleum products.

Government officials claim that the gold for oil program is to blame for the slight drop in oil costs that has occurred over the past few weeks.

The former Minister of Energy and Petroleum, however, claimed that the drop is the result of a worldwide decline in crude oil prices while discussing the State of the Nation Address on Thursday.

“Mr Speaker, when we are discussing this matter, we must be very serious. I heard the Vice President saying that petrol prices have gone down because of gold for oil…the reason the fuel prices have gone down is because crude prices were over $100 and it has come down to $72 globally. It has nothing to do with gold for oil,” he said.

“There is nowhere in this world where we do barter trade for oil… so there is nothing like gold for oil” he stated.

“Mr Speaker, there are two players in this game. One, there are two government important institutions- the Bank of Ghana who is in charge of getting the dollars has always been a problem for people who import crude oil, so the Bank of Ghana says, okay for now, anybody who wants to import come and get the dollars …so guess what?

“The Bank of Ghana now decides that Bulk distribution companies, I will line you up. So what is happening is that the Bank of Ghana is giving them dollars. Bank of Ghana is now becoming the bank to finance the importation of petroleum products,” Mr Buah clarified.

The gold for oil strategy was also criticized by Mr. Kofi Buah, who claimed that it would impede private sector involvement in the oil marketing industry.

He continued by stating that caution is necessary because, if not, this plan will lead to substantial debt.

The Deputy Minority Leader’s allegations, according to Deputy Majority Whip Lydia Seyram Alhassan, are untrue.

She questioned: “Is my member, a former Energy Minister, attempting to convince us in the Legislature that this government or any government cannot think creatively to bring about innovation that will help us?.

Dr. Mahamadu Bawumia, vice president, has referred to the Gold-for-Oil policy as a game-changer that will lower fuel costs.

Dr. Bawumia said during the opening of the Bulk Oil Storage and Transportation Company’s (BOST) new Accra headquarters that the policy is on track to accomplish its overall goal of lowering fuel costs and relieving strain on the nation’s foreign exchange reserves.

“I am happy to note that the Gold-for-Oil policy is the first policy of its kind in Ghana since independence to address this type of balance of payment crisis that we face. In my humble opinion, this is the most important macroeconomic policy intervention to deal with the exchange rate depreciation, fuel prices, food prices, and inflation nexus that we have had”.

Source: Ghanatodayonline.com

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