The Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, has appealed to the Bank of Ghana (BoG) to take necessary steps to stabilise the forex market.
In a speech read on his behalf at the 19th Ashanti Business Excellence awards by Sewuahene, Nana Kwaku Sarkodie expressed worry over the depreciation of the local currency against other foreign trading currencies.
He urged the central bank to implement measures to bring predictability to Ghana’s export and import trade, as well as other international financial transactions.
“I will like to make reference to the unsettling turbulence which has characterised Ghana’s foreign currency market, Since the beginning of the year, there has been an astronomical depreciation of the cedi against Ghana’s major foreign currencies, particularly the US dollar.
“I have no doubt that the Bank of Ghana is doing its best to remedy the situation, but the central bank is doing its best to remedy the situation, but I must urge the central bank to urgently take all the requisite steps within its competence to return the foreign market to stability, in order to bring predictability to Ghana`s export and import trade, as well as other international financial transactions. “
The cedi ended last week with a marginal appreciation, but the cedi has depreciated again to GHC14.20 to one dollar which is the average quote by the forex bureaus.
According to the Bank of Ghana, however, the local currency is selling at GHC13.014 on the interbank market. The cedi is also going for GHC15.60 and GHC13.60 to one pound and one euro respectively.
The depreciation of the cedi coupled with the recent economic crisis in the country has triggered calls for immediate measures to be implemented by the government to resolve the situation.
As a result, President Akufo-Addo in his address on Sunday (30 October), announced some measures the government intends to put in place to address the fall of the cedi and the current economic crisis.
Some of the measures are:
- Fresh inflows of dollars are providing liquidity to the foreign exchange market, and addressing the pipeline demand;
- The Bank of Ghana has given its full commitment to the commercial banks to provide liquidity to ensure the wheels of the economy continue to run in a stabilized manner, till the IMF Programme kicks in and the financing assurances expected from other partners also come in;
- Government working with the Bank of Ghana and the oil-producing and mining companies to introduce a new legal and regulatory framework to ensure that all foreign exchange earned from operations in Ghana are, initially, paid to banks domiciled in Ghana to help boost the domestic foreign exchange market; and
- The Bank of Ghana will enhance its gold purchase programme.
- Enhanced supervisory action by the Bank of Ghana in the forex bureau markets and the black market to flush out illegal operators, as well as ensuring that those permitted to operate legally abide by the market rules. Already some forex bureaus have had their licenses revoked, and this exercise will continue until complete order is restored in the sector.