According to Dr Amin Adam, the Deputy Minister for Energy, 11 out of 27 Oil Marketing Companies (OMC) that have benefitted from the Gold-for-Gold policy have failed to reduce the prices of their commodities, presenting a setback for the policy meant to improve supply, positively influence price changes, and strengthen the country's exchange reserve.
During a media engagement, Dr Adam stated, “National Petroleum Authority (NPA) has to be very rigorous in ensuring that the framework that will be published to govern the pricing of the product is a strong framework and they have to ensure that they are able to monitor all those OMCs that will take the product to ensure they reflect in their pump prices.”
Mr Duncan Amoah, the Executive Secretary of the Chamber of Petroleum Consumers Ghana (COPEC), spoke to the Ghana News Agency (GNA) about the policy and said while it was encouraging to see more than 50% of OMCs reducing their prices, there needs to be “purposeful planning” with a clear objective of either ensuring fuel security or a reduction in pump prices, which would require a constant supply of the commodity on the market.
Mr Amoah also said, “You must be focused and know that 41 000 metric tonnes might not do the trick. So, If I am bringing 41, another cargo must come at 60 and must come at 70, to be able to contain the market demand. If you are going to throw a little in the ocean and expect a ripple effect, you might not get it.”
The prices of fuel in Ghana are primarily influenced by the world market price of the commodity, the depreciation of the cedi, taxes, and levies. As of November 2021, the government had imposed 12 different taxes and levies on petroleum products while the cedi had declined by more than 55% between January and October 2022.
Mr Amoah called on the Bank of Ghana to focus on addressing the volatility of the cedi by “using the gold to back the cedi so that it can have a certain semblance of stability for trading.”
Former Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC), Mr Alex Mould, stated that the Gold-for-Oil policy was a smokescreen for some players to enter and control the oil import and gold export market using government apparatus.
“People with the license to these things are not happy because they can be eliminated.” Mr Alex Mould stated.