Ghana’s Central Bank has finally woken up to the stark reality that the country’s economy has been hijacked by the pricing of goods and services in foreign currencies to the neglect of the indigenous cedi.
In a public notice on Monday, the Bank of Ghana says, “The General public is hereby reminded that the Foreign Exchange Act, 2006 (Act 723) prohibits the pricing, advertising and receipt or payment for goods and services in foreign currency in Ghana.”
For many years, the economy of Ghana has been reeling under pressure with the inadequacy of the United States dollar. The potential effect of more cedi chasing few dollar notes in Ghana has thrown the economy out of gear.
While the pricing of goods and services has been going on for so many years in Ghana, the Bank of Ghana has been quiet with most of its officers sleeping on the job. Today’s public announcement is intriguing as it does not detail any comprehensive plan to clamp down on the saboteurs who have been pricing goods in dollars.
“The Bank of Ghana announces for the information of the public that it has come to its notice that some companies, institutions and individuals are dealing in the business of foreign exchange without authorisation from the Bank,” the public notice signed by one Alethea Godson-Amamoo shamefully states.
The Bank was trolled on social media scathingly by the general public as they are amused that the central bank is now getting aware of a practice that has been going on for ages without anyone being punished.
The Bank of Ghana reiterated that the “sole legal tender in Ghana is the Ghana Cedi or Ghana Pesewa” and warned that “such violations are punishable by summary conviction, a fine of up to seven hundred penalty units or a prison term of not more than eighteen months or both.”
At the time of filing this report, sellers of houses, cars and rental companies are still quoting their prices in dollars.
The activities of this practice of quoting prices in dollars are among a plethora of factors why the Ghana Cedi has depreciated against major international trading currencies in many years. And the authorities still grapple to find an antidote to no avail.
Now the Bank of Ghana is reminding the public that it is illegal to price goods and services in dollars and it lives much to be desired if the central bank will clamp down on the miscreants in the country.