The much-applauded Gold for Oil Policy will be implemented beginning next month, Vice President Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia has announced.
The Oil for Gold initiative, announced by the Vice President last month, will see Ghana pay for imported oil products with gold, in a move which the Vice President explained will impact positively on Ghana’s US Dollar foreign exchange reserve, fuel prices and general cost of living.
Writing on his Facebook page on Thursday, Vice President Bawumia announced that the initiative will start next month with the first delivery of oil products under the policy.
“I am happy to announce that the Government of Ghana has concluded the arrangements for the operationalization of the Gold for Oil policy,” Dr. Bawumia wrote on his official Facebook account.
“Consequently, the first oil products under the policy will be delivered next month (January 2023). My thanks to the Minister for Energy, Minister for Lands and Natural Resources, Governor of the Bank of Ghana, the Chamber of Mines, PMMC and BOST for their leadership in the operationalization of the Government’s Gold for Oil Policy. God bless our homeland Ghana,” he concluded.
The policy has been described variously, on both the local and international scene as a game changer.
Many have hailed the Vice President for the innovative idea, with experts agreeing with reasons and the expected benefits given by the Vice President.
Announcing the policy last month, Vice President Bawumia explained how the policy will help in the quest for a stable forex, as impact on oil prices and cost of living.
“The demand for foreign exchange by oil importers in the face of dwindling foreign exchange reserves results in the depreciation of the cedi and increases in the cost of living with higher prices for fuel, transportation, utilities, etc. To address this challenge, Government is negotiating a new policy regime where our gold (rather than our US dollar reserves) will be used to buy oil products. The barter of sustainably mined gold for oil is one of the most important economic policy changes in Ghana since independence,” Dr. Bawumia wrote on Facebook.
“If we implement it as envisioned, it will fundamentally change our balance of payments and significantly reduce the persistent depreciation of our currency with its associated increases in fuel, electricity, water, transport, and food prices. This is because the exchange rate (spot or forward) will no longer directly enter the formula for the determination of fuel or utility prices since all the domestic sellers of fuel will no longer need foreign exchange to import oil products.
“The barter of gold for oil represents a major structural change. My thanks to the Ministers for Lands and Natural Resources, Energy, and Finance, Precious Minerals Marketing Company, and the Governor of the Bank of Ghana for their supportive work on this new policy.”
“We expect this new framework to be fully operational by the end of the first quarter of 2023. God bless our homeland Ghana.”