Dr Stephen Opata — Director of Financial Markets,  Bank of Ghana
Dr Stephen Opata — Director of Financial Markets, Bank of Ghana

Consumers to feel impact of Gold-for-Oil policy soon — Opata

The impact of the Gold-for-Oil policy will be felt at the pumps only if the country is able to import about 50 per cent of fuel consumption through the policy, the Director of Financial Markets at the Bank of Ghana (BoG), Stephen Opata has said.

He said the first consignment of the fuel shipment under the policy represented just about 20 per cent of national consumption; hence, its inability to make any difference in the pump prices.

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In an interview on the sidelines of the MPC press conference, he said as the programme gained momentum, Ghanaians would begin to see the impact on prices of petroleum products at the pumps.

“The quantity brought in was about 20 per cent of diesel consumption. As we buy more quantities and the programme gains momentum, we will see the impact at the pumps. If we start buying about 50 per cent of the consumption through the policy, then we will start seeing the impact.

“I expect that in February if we are able to pick up the momentum, then we will see that the purchasing mix will be tilted more towards the gold for oil and, therefore, if we are efficient with it, then it will start impacting at the pumps,” he stated.

Some Oil Marketing Companies (OMCs) have started increasing prices of petroleum products at the pumps from Wednesday, February 1, 2023.

GOIL is now selling a litre of petrol at GH¢15.25, from the previous ¢13.60, with diesel also selling for GH¢15.90 per litre, up from GH¢15.52.

Ahead of the increases in fuel prices, the energy think-tank, Institute for Energy Security (IES), has predicted between a seven per cent and 13 per cent jump in the prices of petrol, diesel and Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG), from February 1, 2023, for the next two weeks.

More shipments expected

Mr Opata also pointed out that the central bank had more gold for another oil shipment in the coming days.

He said the central bank had so far bought 50,945 ounces of gold, which translated into US$96.6 million.

“For the first oil shipment, we paid US$40.6 million so we still have some balance. We are expecting to buy another 20,000 ounces of gold this week and this should yield us about US$38.4 million.

“So the expected balance in the account should be around US$94.3 million,” he said, emphasising that “we have enough for another shipment and that is what we are working on.”

In December last year, Vice-President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia announced that Ghana had concluded talks for the operationalisation of the gold-for-oil policy.

He indicated that under the deal, which was similar to barter trade, Ghana would receive cheaper fuel in exchange for gold.

The first consignment under the policy arrived at the Tema Port last week and was discharged into the receptacles of Bulk Oil Storage and Transportation Company (BOST).

The 41,000 metric tonnes of petroleum products were delivered by SCF YENISEI.

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