Accra, Ghana//-The Deputy Minority Leader, Emmanuel Armah Kofi Buah refuted that the recent decline in petroleum products has nothing to do with government’s gold for oil programme.
Petroleum prices have witnessed some marginal decline in the last few weeks with government functionaries claiming it is due to the gold for oil programme.
But debating the State of the Nation Address on Thursday, the former Minister for Energy and Petroleum said the decline is due to global fall in crude oil prices.
“Mr Speaker, when we are discussing this matter, we must be very serious. I heard the Vice President saying that petrol prices have gone down because of gold for oil…the reason the fuel prices have gone down is because crude prices were over $100 and it has come down to $72 globally. It has nothing to do with gold for oil,” he stated.
According to him, “there is nowhere in this world where we do barter trade for oil… so there is nothing like gold for oil.”
Mr Kofi Buah also criticised the gold for oil policy, arguing it will stifle private sector participation in the oil marketing sector.
He added that there is the need to exercise caution, because this scheme will result in significant debt if care is not taken.
“Mr Speaker, there are two players in this game. One, there are two government important institutions- the Bank of Ghana who is in charge of getting the dollars has always been a problem for people who import crude oil, so the Bank of Ghana says, okay for now, anybody who wants to import come and get the dollars …so guess what?
“The Bank of Ghana now decides that Bulk distribution companies, I will line you up. So what is happening is that the Bank of Ghana is giving them dollars. Bank of Ghana is now becoming the bank to finance the importation of petroleum products,” he explained.
But Deputy Majority Whip, Lydia Seyram Alhassan has described the claims of the Deputy Minority Leader as falsehood.
“Is my member who has been a former Energy Minister trying to tell us in the House that this government or any government cannot think outside the box to bring innovation that will help us?” she asked.