The government’s much-heralded gold-for-oil barter trade plan to obtain cheaper petroleum goods without utilizing the currency has been dismissed by an energy policy analyst.
The analyst claims that the agreement appears to be a copy-and-paste arrangement.
On November 30, 2022, Mr. Benjamin Nsiah minimized the significance of the agreement while discussing with Emmanuel Quarshie, the Hitman, the host of the Ghana Yensom morning program on Accra 100.5 FM.
According to him, countries with problems with international diplomacy, particularly with the United States of America, were where the oil for the gold deal was first hatched
He mentioned some of these countries as Venezuela, Cuba, China, Russia, India and Iran among others.
He noted that the government failed to do due diligence on the policy or programme.
“They jumped the gun with the policy. I think they rushed in bringing out the statement,” he said.
“It was just to give some semblance of hope in the wake of the rising cost of fuel in the country,” he strongly argued.
He stressed that the implementation of the programme will be quite difficult because there are no implementation plans accompanying the policy.
He raised questions about whether the deal was going to be a government-to-government or bilateral agreement.
“If this is the case, we need an Oil Trading Company (OTC) since the government has no such entity,” he added.
He said the importation of oil into the country is done by private international Oil Trading Companies (OTCs) and added that they import 76 per cent with Go Energy, a subsidiary of GOIL, with others doing the rest.
He insisted BOST is not an OTC as it stands.
He wondered whether the government had found out that the OTCs, which are all Western aligned, will buy into the arrangement to limit the usage of dollars for these transactions.
If not, “a lot of the questions will remain unanswered in the vice president’s statement,” he remarked.
He also gave an analysis that gold exported in the first quarter of 2022 was three billion and [if] the government seeks to retain 20 per cent this comes up to 100 million dollars when the government needs about 400 million dollars a month to import fuel into the country.
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