Former president John Mahama has said an international financial transaction such as the gold for oil policy must be subjected to Parliamentary approval.
Mahama who was speaking at a public forum in London attended by members of the UK & Ireland chapter of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) said the deal lacks transparency.
“There is a complete lack of transparency about the transaction, and that is one of the major problems with this government. They hide everything and do as they please,” Mahama said.
“According to the 1992 Constitution of Ghana, international financial transactions require the approval of Parliament,” adding it does not matter that the deal is a barter trade.
The former president cited the Sinohydro agreement that exchanges the country’s bauxite for infrastructure development by China as a classic example of barter trade.
“By the 1992 Constitution, international financial transactions require the approval of Parliament. So, the gold for oil agreement should go to parliament for scrutiny and approval. Why are they not applying same method they passed the Sinohydro deal with China through?” Mahama asked.
Demand for forex
In November 2022, the government announced plans to use gold to buy imported oil products.
The policy was expected to change Ghana’s balance of payments fundamentally and significantly reduce the persistent depreciation of the cedi.
In an earlier Facebook post, the vice-president said, “The demand for foreign exchange by oil importers in the face of dwindling foreign exchange reserves results in the depreciation of the cedi and increases in the cost of living with higher prices for fuel, transportation, utilities, etc.
“To address this challenge, the government is negotiating a new policy regime where our gold (rather than our US dollar reserves) will be used to buy oil products. The barter of sustainably mined gold for oil is one of the most important economic policy changes in Ghana since independence,” he said.