Govt seeking to control oil value chain with gold-for-oil policy – Ben Boakye

The Executive Director of the Africa Centre for Energy Policy (ACEP), Benjamin Boakye believes government’s proposed gold-for-oil policy is nothing but a recipe to take total control of the petroleum value chain.

He said the arguments advanced in favour of the policy are distorted and shredded in parochial interests.

Mr. Boakye argued that it isn’t true that forex shortage is largely to blame for the nation’s energy shortfalls.

“That assumption that gold proceeds don’t come to Ghana and therefore the government doesn’t have control over the revenues from the export of gold is flawed. The government understands this industry more than some of us because there is no way a gold business can operate without the proceeds coming into the country. If you check the Chamber of Mines report and the reports of the mining companies, the monies needed to keep the mines running and to be able to pay their taxes to the government is about 75 percent of the total export of the gold.”

Speaking on the Point of View on Citi TV, the energy analyst said the government’s insinuations that forex shortage is a worrying trend affecting the country’s energy needs is outlandish and preposterous.

“Gold has a dollar value and if you track the gold and the dollar in the last decade, you will realize that there is no currency in the world that has been stronger than the dollar. So the government is just trying to control the value chain and there is nothing more than what they are trying to do.

“Those who are doing the gold export and purchases, ask them, most of them rely on their partners in foreign countries who bring in the dollar for them to finance their operations to be able to buy the gold and export to them.”