Andrew Atariwini, the Deputy Director of Communication for the NPP in the Upper East Region, is insistent that the government’s “Gold for Oil” policy would eventually make fuel relatively cheaper in Ghana.
When Mr. Atariwini spoke on A1 Radio’s Day Break Upper East Show today, Thursday, January 19, 2023.
“[We said] let’s look for cheaper sources of fuel. The first consignment has just come. I am thinking that you cannot just expect an immediate change in the cycle of things that we used to see. Ask yourself, how many pumps have that oil today? The strategy to distribute the oil might be a factor and might delay,” he said.
The Deputy Regional Director of Communications has doubled down on his position and is confident that prices of fuel on the local market would fall despite the projected increase in the prices of fuel for the first pricing window of February.
The Institute for Energy Security (IES) is predicting between 7% and 13% jump in the prices of petrol, diesel and Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG), from February 1, 2023, for the next two weeks.
This means petrol will sell at about ¢15 per litre, whilst diesel will go for over ¢17 per litre.
According to the IES, the rise in domestic fuel prices is due to the sharp depreciation of the cedi during the last two weeks and the rising international fuel prices as observed on the global S&P Platts platform.
The energy think tank pointed out that the increase in fuel prices would be occasioned in spite of the government’s receipt of approximately 41,000 metric tonnes of diesel under its “Gold for Oil” programme.
A little more patience is needed, according to Mr. Atariwini.
“Why is the NDC always in a hurry and not allowing programmes and policies to get to their lagging state. The BoG is a buyer of gold and not dollars. All we need to be is patient so that these things would reflect at the pumps. Before the end of 2022, the government did all it could to make prices very affordable for the ordinary Ghanaian. We should be thankful to the government. Your patience needs to continue. You need to tarry in your patience a bit while the government rolls out this policy. Every policy you roll out has a lag period. This policy hasn’t even taken 6 months yet, and everybody is crying foul,” he said.
Meanwhile, 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.
“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