The Centre for Democracy and Socio-Economic Development (CDS Africa) has advised government to come up with a clear policy statement to address lingering questions on the sources of gold for the Gold for Oil program.
The group in a statement issued in Accra on 15 February 2023, observed that despite the fact that Governor of the Bank of Ghana affirmed Ghana’s position as the largest producer of gold in Africa during the launch of the Central Bank’s DGP the country’s gold reserves have remained unchanged at 8.77 tonnes.
This development CDS Africa says has forced them to ask the question, “Does the Gold Aggregator and mining firms have the capacity to provide enough gold for this initiative?”
“We wish to draw the government’s attention to the issue of the sourcing of the Gold needed for the implementation of the program. Under the arrangement, gold purchased through the Bank of Ghana’s DGP program will be mainly through the Precious Minerals and Marketing Company (PMMC).
“The Bank of Ghana has stated that PMMC will solely act as the nation’s assayer, evaluating the gold to ascertain its ingredient and quality.”
“The major question that we want to ask is that “Does the Gold Aggregator and mining firms have the capacity to provide enough gold for this initiative?” the group queried.
CDS Africa believes a clear policy statement on the Gold for Oil policy would ensure that the program does not create a market for gold mined illegally.
The group drew government’s attention to the negative impact illegal mining was having on the provision of water around the country to emphasize the need to ensure that Gold for Oil does not create fertile ground for the canker.
“Currently, Ghana is battling with the issue of “galamsey” and its associated impact on water bodies, arable farmlands, and forests reserves. In 2022, the Ghana Water Company reported exorbitant hikes in operational costs owing to the activities of illegal mining operations on our water bodies. They explained that they have had to spend more on materials and treatment of water to ensure its wholesomeness for consumption,” CDS stated.
According publicly available date, Ghana consumes US$350million worth of petroleum products monthly which amounted to about 4.2 billion USD per year.
Story: Sena Nombo/Radiogoldlive.com