Political Risk Analyst, Dr. Theo Acheampong has disagreed with government’s claim that the recent drop in fuel prices is a result of the Gold-for-Oil policy.
According to him, the price for gold-for-oil products are higher compared to existing products on the market.
He said the Bulk Oil Distributing Companies (BDCs) who did not participate in the policy are rather selling at lower prices.
Dr Acheampong disclosed this on Newsfile on Saturday after Vice President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia claimed that the drop in fuel prices is due to the Gold-for-Oil policy.
The Vice President who was speaking at the commissioning of a new head office for the Bulk Oil Storage and Transportation Company in Accra on March 15 also revealed that petroleum products will see further reduction at the pumps from March 16, 2023.
Dr Bawumia added that, “As a result of the policy, we have not only seen a decline in the price from GH¢23 per liter to around GH¢12 per liter. We have also seen stability in the exchange rate as we predicted”,
But the Economist dismissed these claims and said that the reduction in fuel prices at the local pumps is not entirely the result of the policy but also due to international pricing and exchange rate.
“As we speak currently at the recent pricing window, the gold-for-oil product that came in are actually selling slightly higher than products that are on the market that the normal BDCs who are not participating in this policy programme are doing.
“….. So when the government now comes and claims that because of Gold-for-Oil, the price has dropped, clearly that cannot be the case.
“What is driving the price at the local level which is a function of the international price and crude oil price have actually come down a bit, is the function of the exchange rate,” he said.
Dr Acheampong added that “We have seen the exchange rate stabilising relatively. It cannot be the case that all the drops that we are seeing is fully attributable to this gold-for-oil policy”.
The Political Risk Analyst asserted that any claim to this effect is a PR gimmick.
“So I think a bit of the communication and the PR which is seeking to make the government look as though it’s really because of this policy that prices have dropped. That is not fully the case”, he said.
Commenting on the same issue, a Legal and Communications Team Member for the National Democratic Congress (NDC), Godwin Edudzi Tameklo concurs with the justification which was made by the Political Analyst.
According to him, government has the tendency of implementing policies which does not benefit the country. He said that the government’s failure to resolve related policy issues had rather exposed them.
“I think that the fear of the Minority has a historical basis. Our vice president has this penchant for engaging in rush talk. This rush talk with the benefit of time had rather exposed the fact that our vice president is really not thorough when it comes to policy issues”, he said.
Mr Tameklo who was also speaking on Newsfile on Saturday explained that government some time back gave reasons for reducing the benchmark value but turned out that the reduction could not be sustained. He said that such failures on the side of government are unacceptable.
He added that government has since acquired 115,000 metric tons from the gold-for-oil deal, but the demand for refined petroleum products is 600,000 metric tons.
To this end, the NDC’s Legal and Communication team member said that the minority does not accept such claims from the government that the gold-for-oil policy is the sole reason for the reduction in fuel prices.
“So when the vice president now comes to say that out of 600,000, the policy that has contributed only 115,000 is the reason for the reduction in petroleum pricing and others, we certainly have a challenge with that conversation because the available data does not suggest that”.
“So you cannot for all intent and purpose say that the reason for the reduction in pricing as we see on the various OMCs is as a result of these policy issues”, he stressed.