The Bank of Ghana (BoG) is taking steps to stem the dollarisation of the Ghanaian economy by enforcing laws that bar the pricing of goods and services in American dollars and other foreign currencies.
The dollarisation of the economy has contributed to the perrenial unfavourable fluctuation of the cedi and its attendant effect on inflation and cost of living.
But a team from the Other Financial Institutions Supervision Department of the BoG is moving to prevent individuals and institutions from pricing in dollars.
The planned nationwide campaign is to ensure that goods sold in the country are priced only in cedi.
The team has been descending on institutions such as hotels, motor dealers, real estate firms, among others, warning them to desist from pricing in dollars or face the full rigours of the law. The law state that anyone found culpable will face prison terms of not more than 18 months or 700 of penalty points or both.
The move by the Central Bank is seen by many as a strategic one that will prevent a number of institutions and individuals from desisting in pricing in dollars.
Adjoa Takyiwaah, Head of Forex Bureau, said the Bank will first seek to caution the firms but will sanction them later if they continue to flout the Foreign Exchange Act.
“We are going to caution them, we are going to educate them that as part of our enforcement exercise we need to get everyone involved to understand that there is a directive that is asking them not to price in any other currency apart from the cedi. In the event that they do, the penalty will take place; for now, it’s just a caution and education for the general public know that there is something in that directive.”
According to the BoG, the Foreign Exchange Act 2006, Act 723, prohibits pricing, advertising or receipt for payment of goods and services in foreign currency in Ghana. The sole legal tender in Ghana is the cedi and the pesewa.