Vice President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia has announced the negotiation of a landmark new policy which would see the government of Ghana purchase imported oil products with gold rather than foreign exchange.
Dr Bawumia announced the policy shift, which is expected to take effect by the end of the first quarter of 2023, as a move to combat the rampant depreciation of the cedi.
According to him, using Ghana’s mined gold to purchase imported oil rather our dollar reserves will help stabilise the rampant cedi depreciation and its attendant increase in fuel, electricity, water and transport prices.
Bawumia wrote in a post on Facebook: “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, 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,”
The Vice President continued: “If we implement it as envisioned, it will fundamentally change our balance of payments and significantly reduce the persistent depreciation of our currency with its associated increases in fuel, electricity, water, transport, and food prices. This is because the exchange rate (spot or forward) will no longer directly enter the formula for the determination of fuel or utility prices since all the domestic sellers of fuel will no longer need foreign exchange to import oil products.
“The barter of gold for oil represents a major structural change. My thanks to the Ministers for Lands and Natural Resources, Energy, and Finance, Precious Minerals Marketing Company, and the Governor of the Bank of Ghana for their supportive work on this new policy.
“We expect this new framework to be fully operational by the end of the first quarter of 2023. God bless our homeland Ghana.”