The Bank of Ghana (BoG) in a move to restore the value of the local currency, has issued a statement directing various institutions, businesses and individuals to stop transactions in all foreign currencies in the country, especially the dollar.
According to the Bank of Ghana, pricing of goods and services, advertising, receipting and/or making payments for goods and services in foreign currency in Ghana contravene the laws of the country- Foreign Exchange Act. Nonetheless, the Central Bank indicated that, some institutions or individuals can do such transactions with express authorization from the Central Bank.
“Further to Bank of Ghana’s previous notices Nos. BG/GOV/SEC/2019/07 and BG/GOV/SEC/2012/12 which advised the public against unauthorized dealings in foreign currency, Bank of Ghana hereby reminds the public that in accordance with the Foreign Exchange Act, 2006 (Act 723), companies, institutions and individuals are prohibited from: engaging in foreign exchange business without a license issued by Bank of Ghana; or pricing, advertising, receipting or making payments for goods and services in foreign currency in Ghana, without written authorization from Bank of Ghana.”BoG Statement
Penalties for Violating the Foreign Exchange Act
The Bank of Ghana moreover, noted that people who are caught breaching the law will be imprisoned or fined.
“Such violations are punishable on summary conviction, by a fine of up to seven hundred (700) penalty units or a term of imprisonment of not more than eighteen (18) months, or both.”BoG Statement
The Central Bank, therefore, warned the public of such moves and also appealed to Ghanaians who are doing unauthorized transactions in the forex market to stop.
“Bank of Ghana hereby cautions the general public to desist from dealing in illegal forex activities (black market transactions), pricing, advertising, receipting or making payments for goods and services in foreign currency in Ghana, without the requisite license or authorization from Bank of Ghana.”BoG Statement
The Central Bank vowed to clamp down individuals who breaks the law and called on all Ghanaians to help by reporting anyone who engages in foreign currency transactions without authorization.
“The General Public is hereby notified that the sole legal tender in Ghana is the Ghana Cedi. Bank of Ghana, in collaboration with National Security and Law Enforcement Agencies, will continue to clamp down on illegal foreign exchange operations. All offenders shall be dealt with in accordance with the law.
“Bank of Ghana urges the general public to report any violations witnessed to: Telephone: 0302665005 Email: [email protected] and on WhatsApp: 0596912354 or 0501502270.”BoG Statement
This directive came on the back of the increasing rate of ‘dollarization’ of the economy in which almost all goods and services are quoted in the dollar. This ranges from rent, sale of properties, cars, hotels and many other transactions. This practice put pressure on the cedi, leading to its depreciation. As a result, many consumers suffer the consequences since they need more money to do that same transactions.
Meanwhile, this is a welcoming news and a relief to customers and Ghanaians in general as they are calling for the government to do something about the situation.