Former President John
Dramani Mahama is calling on government to put before Parliament, the gold for
oil agreement for parliamentary scrutiny and approval since the deal is an
international financial transaction.
“According to the 1992
Constitution of Ghana international financial transactions require the approval
of Parliament,” he stated at a public forum in London, adding “it does not
matter that the gold for oil deal is a barter trade.”
Mr. Mahama made this statement
in response to a question at the forum attended by members of the UK &
Ireland Chapter of the National Democratic Congress (NDC).
President Mahama cited
the Sinohydro agreement that exchanges the country’s bauxite for infrastructure
development by China as a classic example of batter trade.
He further explained that
if the Sinohydro agreement was a barter deal and went to Parliament for
approval because it is an international financial transaction, why not the
current deal in which Ghana’s gold is being exchanged for oil.
The former President noted that the deal is currently
shrouded in complete secrecy with only government officials who are involved in
the transaction knowing the details, describing the development as
“There is a complete lack of transparency about the
transaction, and that is one of the major problems with this government. They
hide everything and do as they please”, he noted.
Mr. Mahama believes with parliamentary scrutiny,
Ghanaians will have value for money in the gold-for-oil deal and also know the
beneficial owners behind the transaction.