The Gold-for-Oil policy that was introduced by the government has stabilized the Exchange Rate, Vice President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia has said.
He also said the policy has resulted in a decline in fuel prices.
Speaking at a forum organized by the Bulk Oil Storage and Transformation (BOST) company in Accra, on Wednesday, March 15, Dr Bawumia said “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.
“As a result of the policy, we have not only seen a decline in the price from 23 Cedis per liter to around 12 Cedis per liter, we have also seen stability in the exchange rate as we predicted. I say all thanks should go to the Ministry of Energy, to BOST, to NPA, the Bank of Ghana, the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources and the PMMC who rose up to the occasion when we faced those crises of rapidly depreciating currency along with rapidly increasing fuel, transportation, and food prices.”
Dr Bawumia earlier justified the ‘Gold-for Crude’ programme saying that it is an innovative way of easing the pressure on the local currency against the major trading ones, especially the Dollar.
Speaking at the 74th annual new year school of the University of Ghana on Tuesday, January 17, he said while justifying the programme that ” How are we going to change this whole way of doing business as far as our natural resources were concerned? Take the case of gold in Ghana, we have mined gold for over 200 years, and when I looked at the data I realized that our total reserves of gold in Ghana was just 8.7 tonnes at the end of 2021.
“One of the largest gold mining countries, we are in the top 10 in the world but we have not accumulated gold to build our reserves.
“We looked at the other side of the balance sheet, we export gold and we import oil. The cost of oil import is about 3 billion dollars a year. So we ask the simple question, why don’t we, since we have always got pressure in finding US Dollars to buy oil, rather reach an agreement to change our gold for oil and then, sell the oil in Cedis and then, use the Cedis to buy more gold, use that gold to pay for oil, sell the oil in Cedis and then you don’t need to look for the scarce foreign exchange to buy oil, which always leads to depreciation on the currency.
“With this idea, we said, let us do something that the textbooks don’t teach you, let us do something that is out of the box and this is why we said gold-for-oil. We quickly looked at this and we negotiated with the suppliers of oil who were very excited and happy to receive gold in payment. Thankfully, yesterday, Monday, Ghana took its first delivery of oil under the gold-for-oil programme.
“This is the cargo to test the framework to see if everything that has been put in place will work and by the grace of God, it is clear that the framework will work and if that should happen we are going to save a lot of foreign exchange and reduce the pressure on our currency.”
The Chief Executive Officer of the National Petroleum Authority (NPA) Dr Mustapha Abdul-Hamid recently said that Ghana received 40,000MT of diesel and 35,000MT of petrol at a cost of 40 million Dollars which has just arrived and is being discharged,
He indicated that in consultation with the Association of Oil Marketing Companies (AOMCs), it had been decided that only Oil Marketing Companies (OMCs) with 45 retail outlets would receive products.
This was to ensure that the impacts of the G4O programme were felt by consumers across the country, he said.
“In this second consignment of gold for oil products that have come we are going to sell only to OMCs with not less than 45 outlets because there are 150 OMCs , if you are selling in pieces to all the 150 OMCs you will not realize the impact but if you are selling to the people with the highest number of outlets then its effect will be felt across the country in terms of the prices reduction,” he said at a press conference in Accra on Wednesday, February 22.
Ghana took delivery of the first consignment, 40,000 metric tons of oil at the Tema port on Sunday, January 15, 2023.
The gold for oil initiative is an attempt by the government to move away from the US dollar for international transactions.
We’ll ensure there are enough funds for 2023/2024 cocoa purchasing season – COCOBOD
COCOBOD has assured that concrete steps have been taken to ensure it is able to secure enough funds to finance its annual cocoa purchases in the 2023/2024 crop season.
Against the backdrop of a reportage by Reuters that the firm had borrowed up to $200 million from cocoa traders to plug its funding gap, COCOBOD said it had adopted a two-prong financing strategy to ensure that it obtained the required funds for the purchasing season.
A statement from COCOBOD in response to the Reuters report indicated that it had had firm assurances from its bankers of making funds available in time for the purchasing season and that a “Cocoa syndicated Loan has been laid in Parliament for consideration and approval.”
Below is COCOBOD’s full statement.
FINANCING OF PURCHASES FOR 2023/24 CROP SEASON
There have been some recent publications in the news media in relation to funds for cocoa purchases for the 2023/24 Crop Season.
We wish to brief our stakeholders on this very sensitive national issue as follows:
COCOBOD planned a two-prong financing for the 2023/2024 Crop Season in an effort to diversify Its source of funding for the annual cocoa purchases.
The strategy was therefore, to use a prefinancing arrangement with the international buyers to raise an amount of US$400 million for purchases at the beginning of the Season in September 2023.
These initial funds were expected to be augmented by an additional US$800 million loan from a syndicate of lenders by the end of November 2023. After engagements with buyers for several weeks, the arrangement was however discontinued.
Thus, since the beginning of the Season, cocoa purchases have been financed with noncollateralized cocoa sales proceeds. COCOBOD is therefore still in the process of securing the syndicated loan for the 2023/24 Crop Season.
As a matter of fact, the Board has so far received firm response from our bankers in this regard, and the Cocoa syndicated Loan has been laid in Parliament for consideration and approval.
We wish to use this medium to assure our stakeholders that the necessary arrangements have been made to secure enough funding for cocoa purchases for the year under review.
ISSUED BY: PUBLIC AFFAIRS DEPARTMENT
Ghana is a good place to do business – Bawumia tells Czech investors
Vice President Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia is actively seeking Czech investors for the country.
Dr. Bawumia emphasized that Ghana remains the best country in Africa for investment due to its stability, peace, and growth opportunities for businesses.
He made these remarks during his meeting with the Czech Prime Minister, Peter Fiala, at the Jubilee House in Accra.
“Ghana is an excellent place for doing business. We are the most peaceful country in West Africa and the second most peaceful country in Africa. It is crucial for anyone looking to invest in Africa to consider Ghana as the ideal destination for business.”
“I am confident that this will open up opportunities for our respective business sectors,” he stated.
Mahama’s ’24hr Economy’ project will revolutionize Ghana – Dafeamekpor
South Dayi Member of Parliament, Rockson Nelson Dafeamekpor, has said that the ’24-hour Economy’ project conceived by the flagbearer of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) Former President John Dramani Mahama will turn the economy around if implemented.
Mr Mahama proposed the ’24hr Economy ‘ project when he met with officials of the country’s mother workers union on Tuesday, November 7, 2023 at the start of his engagement with key stakeholders in a quest to return to power.
Dubbed ‘Building Ghana Tour’, the interactions with the stakeholders is to apprise them of the policies the next NDC administration will implement to transform the economy.
At Tuesday’s engagement, he said “NDC was left alone as the solitary voice seeking to hold the government accountable and speaking up for the voiceless Ghanaian and we were often cast out as spoilt brats who were ranting just because we have lost power.
“Today, the chickens have come home to roost and we are all affected.”
Commenting on this in a tweet, Mr Dafeamekpor said “Some concrete Examples of John Mahama’s ‘24hr Economy’ Projects include Terminal 3 at Kotoka, Tema Port Container Terminal, New Ridge Hospital, Maritime Hospital, Tema, UGMC, Legon, Kejetia Market, Accra Data Centre, the TamaleTeaching Hospital. It’ll revolutionize the economy.”