Gold for Oil policy reduces forex pressures significantly – Akufo Addo 

President Nana Akufo-Addo says that the Gold for Oil Programme worked well, significantly lowering forex constraints on bulk energy storage, transportation, and imports. He said the strategy had allowed distribution and export companies to negotiate more competitive prices with suppliers.  He made the remarks when he delivered the State of the Nation Address (SONA) to Parliament on Tuesday. “What we can say about it is that the premiums dropped from $180–200/MT to $70/MT or less. “This also resulted in reduced and stabilized prices at the pumps of between GH¢12–13 per litre for the whole of 2023, “he said.  

The Gold for Oil policy, which was introduced in November 2022, is an innovative measure to exchange gold for petroleum products.  The government has maintained that the decision was meant to limit demand for dollars for the importation of petroleum products to slow the currency’s devaluation.  Ghana anticipated spending $400 million on regular petroleum product imports; however, the Central Bank was able to contribute $120 million.  Sharing more information about the oil and gas sector, the President stated that for many years, well-paying jobs in the industry were only filled by foreign nationals because the country lacked qualified workers in those fields. 

He said the government was working to address some of the barriers that have prevented Ghanaians from fully participating in the oil and gas industry.   President Akufo-Addoi, however, emphasised that Ghana was making significant strides in building the human resource capacity of Ghanaians in the oil and gas sector.   “Last year, 150 young Ghanaians were trained and certified as mechanical maintenance technicians, electrical technicians, instrumentation technicians, and production process technicians up to industry standards. “Additionally, five young Ghanaians underwent a ten-month welding inspector training program at the North Alberta Institute of Technology, Canada,” he said.He claimed that Ghanaians have now been deployed as teachers at various technical institutions in Ghana and that some would soon fill high-paying roles in the country’s oil fields due to its trained and skilled personnel.