Sunday, 23 June

Mahama to probe Akufo-Addo’s gold-for-oil programme if he wins presidency

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

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. 

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. 

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 announced the policy in 2022 as part of efforts to address Ghana's diminishing foreign currency reserves and the demand for dollars by oil importers, factors contributing to the weakening of the Cedi and escalating living costs.

Under the G4O programme, Ghana aims to acquire competitively priced oil by trading gold, aiming to alleviate pressure on the Cedi, mitigate soaring fuel prices, and rectify balance of payment issues.

As of March 2023, over 60,000 ounces of gold valued at more than $97 million had been procured from local mines. 

However, the Precious Minerals Marketing Company (PMMC) targets acquiring at least 160,000 ounces of gold, valued at approximately $300 million monthly, to cover about half of the country's monthly oil demand.