A Forex Analyst is warning that the Bank of Ghana’s notice of caution to persons pricing goods and services in foreign currencies, will come to naught, if the Central Bank fails to ensure that the laws concerning the practice are enforced.
According to the apex bank, such practices breach the Foreign Exchange Act, 2006 (Act 723) which prohibits companies and institutions from pricing, advertising, receipting, or making payments in foreign currencies in Ghana.
The Central Bank in a statement also said the law prohibits individuals or institutions from engaging in foreign exchange business without a license issued by the Bank of Ghana.
Despite a stated punishment of a summary conviction by a fine of up to seven hundred (700) penalty units or a term of imprisonment of not more than eighteen months (18) or both, forex analyst Louis Boah noted that effective enforcement of the laws is the only way forward.
“Ghana already has the best laws against the pricing of goods and services in foreign currencies, especially the US Dollar. I believe that the implementation of the set punitive actions is what is needed to stop the practice. You can take the housing industry, for example, an industry the government needs to look at seriously. When you look at renting of houses, landlords and other stakeholders are now charging in Dollars. And this leads to people using a lot of Cedis to get the needed Dollars to rent.”
“When you talk about the black market, you can see the people who conduct the business in specific sections of areas like Makola and the likes without being stopped by the police who patrol such areas. So the key thing needed going forward is enforcement,” he added.