Minority leader Dr Cassiel Ato Forson has raised serious concerns about the government’s gold-for-oil deal which seeks to reduce the prices of petroleum products in the country.
Speaking to Prince Minkah on Dwaboase programme on TV XYZ, the former Deputy Minister for Finance alleged that the Bank of Ghana is secretly printing cedis to give to the Precious Minerals Marketing Company (PMMC) to purchase gold for the government.
“Where is the BoG getting money to purchase to give to PMMC to purchase the gold?” Dr Forson asked while pointing to the illegality that is surrounding the policy.
“The Bank of Ghana has secretly printed GH¢50 billion this year without Parliamentary approval. He did that with Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta, and we don’t know where the money has gone,” he said.
He explained that the secret printing of cedis began in 2020.
“From 2020 till now, the Bank of Ghana has printed GH¢90 billion cedis. GH¢40 billion printed between 2020 and 2022. This year alone, they have printed GH¢50 billion cedis,” Forson disclosed.
Dr Forson who is also the MP for Ejumako-Enyan-Essiam Constituency also indicated that the Minority would hold the Governor of the Central Bank accountable for the illegality.
The ‘Gold for Oil’ policy is to buy oil products with gold rather than U.S. dollar reserves.
It is meant to tackle dwindling foreign currency reserves coupled with the demand for dollars by oil importers, which weakens the Ghana cedi and increases living costs.
Speaking at the 2022 AGI Awards in Accra, Vice President Dr Mahamadu Bawumia explained that Ghana’s gold for oil program will give Ghana the space to accumulate more international reserves as the country will save the $3 billion it spends on oil imports.
He added that the use of gold was specifically for oil imports in the face of declining foreign exchange reserves.
However, Dr Ato Forson believes the deal is marred by corruption as he explained that the government did not buy oil with gold in its first transaction under the policy.
“They bought the oil with dollars; they didn’t buy with gold as we were told. Even with that, instead of buying the oil at 95 dollars per metric tonne, they bought it at around 101 or 105 dollars per metric tonne.
“This means there is a middleman somewhere who is making 5 dollars profit around the deal,” Dr Forson noted and assured that his side of the law-making chamber will unveil the face behind that illegality.