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Gold for oil policy could increase galamsey – NDC’s Francis Adingo

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A member of the NDC’s Upper East Regional Communication Team, Francis Adingo is worried about the negative consequences of the government’s “Gold for Oil” policy. 

Ghana has taken delivery of the first consignment of the gold for oil deal reached with the United Arab Emirates.

The 40,000 metric tons of oil arrived at the Tema port on Sunday, January 15, 2023, according to the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources.

The Energy Ministry, the Bulk Oil Storage and Transportation and Oil Marketing Companies are to formulate plans for its distribution and sale.

This, according to the Lands Ministry, will help reduce fuel prices in the country.

Speaking on A1 Radio’s Day Break Upper East Show today, Mr. Adingo explained that the government had failed to meet the expectations of the ordinary Ghanaian, who, despite the policy, has to pay more for fuel. 

“Ghanaians received the news and were a bit sceptical but also very happy thinking that if it is able to happen, that would be good news. After all, the increment or decrement in fuel does not have party identity. It would have triggered the cost of living to go down because the prices of goods and services would go down as well,” he said. 

The narrative of acquiring cheap fuel for Ghanaians, by the government and government communicators, was problematic, to begin with, according to Mr. Adingo. 

“In this modern day, we do not do barter trade any more. Anything that you give to a business man or government, you expect returns. The returns must be positive. Were they saying they’d take the bars of gold and go and give them to an oil country and say, take gold and give me oil? But is there cheap gold anywhere?” he asked. 

The bigger problem, according to Mr. Adingo, is the possibility that illegal mining would increase under the current arrangement. 

“That is it. Those people who do the galamsey, who do they sell it to? Is it not these same gold businesses that end up with the companies for it to be refined? The boys at Yabzugu and Sherigu, when they dig the gold, where do they send it? Do they send it to their homes? They sell it, Who do they sell it to? The end issue is is that it ends with the company. So if the company is supposed to produce 100 ounces and the government said, give me 20 ounces and maybe the company’s international partner needs 100 ounces, where would I get those extra 20 ounces from? I would have to rely on the illegal miners to get it and yet we say we are fighting galamsey. The issue of gold would be more attractive, and people would go into it to do more,” he said. 

Source: A1radioonline.com|101.1MHz|Mark Kwasi Ahumah Smith|Ghana


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