By Julian Owusu-Abedi
The Gold for Oil policy which started in earnest at the beginning of this year 2023 appears to be fading fast with the passage of time.
Readers will recall all the brouhaha that greeted the gold for oil initiative from the Minority caucus in parliament for lack of transparency in the agreement and also the crude manner by which forty licensed gold exporters were prised out of business by government’s withdrawal of their licenses and in the process leaving some five thousand people unemployed.
Background checks from Kumasi Purchase Center of PMMC and likewise Tarkwa and it’s environs indicates that in the last three weeks Bank of Ghana(BoG) through it’s purchasing agent the PMMC has not bought an ounce of gold because of unavailability of funds to sustain the policy.
Precious Minerals Marketing Company (PMMC) which used to buy, on the average, two (2) tons or two thousand (2,000) kg of gold monthly is no more in the market. From the beginning of April 2023 up to date.
The parallel market(smuggling) for small scale gold is thriving now and one wonders when it will stop.
Some few people this reporter spoke to are of the opinion that looking at the current situation, Licensed Gold Exporters (LGE) whose businesses were negatively impacted by the Gold-For-Oil policy should be given the opportunity to restart their business. Or a certain percentage of their purchases be sold to Government. This will enable the about forty (40) companies to start working again and re-engage the over five thousand (5,000) employees who were laid off when the policy was implemented. It will also weed out the smugglers who are having a field day by buying small scale gold from the miners.