Francis Kwadwo Nsafoa Poku, an energy specialist, seeking to lead the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP) in the upcoming general elections says the Bank of Ghana is bound to incur losses if it continues to roll out the Gold for Oil policy.
Speaking to the media after picking up his nomination forms to contest in the impending NPP flagbearership race, Mr. Poku said the policy’s implementation was ill-informed.
“The Gold for Oil Policy was a short-term measure. For some of us, the way the proponents of the policy talked about it, we said it wasn’t possible and it is not possible. You cannot take your gold and go and collect oil from somebody. The right way is to sell your gold to somebody, take that foreign exchange, and go and buy the oil from somebody else, that is the right way.”
He further disclosed that he wrote a letter to the Bank of Ghana asking for clarity on the policy but the response he had was not satisfactory.
“We don’t want the Bank of Ghana to continue with this policy because indebtedness will occur if we should continue with this policy because there is always debt and losses in the oil trade. I wrote a letter to the Bank of Ghana under the Right to Information, and they replied saying that they will be able to adjust because when something goes down or comes up, they will average it, but I don’t believe that.”
This comes after former Member of Parliament (MP) for Nsuta Kwamang Beposo, Kwame Asafo Adjei accused the Bank of Ghana of withdrawing from the deal following some debts incurred.
The former New Patriotic Party (NPP) MP, who argued that the deal is not transparent, added that he was slammed when he raised issues about the deal months ago.
“I raised it on several platforms that this policy is not sustainable. It will increase our inflation, and I was bashed, people were insulting me left, right and centre. I saw in one of the documents that the BoG was withdrawing from the Gold for oil policy. I also read that it was going to cost us $100 million in April because some people were smuggling the gold outside the country and were not passing through the right channel. And that the BoG was withdrawing, so I wanted to know why the BoG was withdrawing. That is my beef: why are they withdrawing? The deal is not transparent enough. They said there’s an agent in Dubai, who is this agent?” Kwame Asafo Adjei asked on the Eyewitness News on Citi FM, hosted by Umaru Sanda Amadu.
The gold for oil policy was initiated by the NPP government with the hope of securing cheaper fuel for Ghana and curbing the free fall of the cedi against major trading currencies, especially the dollar.