Ghana’s Deputy Energy
Minister, Andrew Egyapa Mercer, says government’s Gold for Oil policy does not
need to be submitted to parliament for approval.
According to him, the
programme was instituted within the mandates of the Bank of Ghana and thus does
not fall within the purview of parliament.
Mr. Mercer who doubles as
the Member of Parliament for Sekondi Constituency argued his point out on
JoyNews’ PM Express Business Edition, when he said, “On even the import
side, BOST, before the commencement of this programme (Gold for Oil), if you
like, imports petroleum products as part of their operations, do they take it
to parliament for approval?”
“So if Bank of Ghana is
buying Gold in-country as part of its mandate and externalizing it to as it
were either swap for commodity on behalf of Ghanaian importer and or monetize
to pay on behalf of a Ghanaian importer which then the Ghanaian importer pays
in cedis in Ghana, how does that require parliamentary approval?”
This statement was made following
calls from the Minority side of parliament for the Gold for Oil policy to be
brought to the house for perusal.
However, according to
Egyapa Mercer these calls are merely to truncate the success of the programme
which as at Monday, January 16, had delivered 41,000 metric tons of oil from
the United Arab Emirates to Bulk Oil Storage and Transportation (BOST).
He said, “But I know why,
especially people in the NDC led by former President Mahama will call for
parliament because you know the dynamics there. To the point that the
parliament of Ghana passed a law, the Minerals Income Investment Fund Act which
then empowered government through requisite agency to set up a company for
purposes of monetizing our royalty.
“It’s all in the law. But
when government sought to implement the law that had been passed by parliament
by way of the Agyapa transaction you saw what happened.”