In the last six years the Bank of Ghana has received its fair share of criticisms from the Ghanaian public. In the wake of the banking crises and clean up by the NPP Government in its first term, the Central Bank was blamed for not policing the banking sector and allowing some bank owners to swindle customers of millions of Cedis.
For the past six months, the reputation of the Bank of Ghana, has come under attack again howbeit for a different reason. With the downward spiraling of the Cedi in relation of the US Dollar, prices of goods and services have been increasing almost every week.
In an attempt to stabilize the cedi, the Governor of the Central Bank has resolved to clamp down on unlicensed Forex operators throughout the country.
Last week, a full scale police operation closed in on black market Forex operators in broad daylight within the Tudu enclave in Accra and arrested several hundreds of them. Our checks from the Accra Central Police Command revealed several hundreds are being prepared to be arraigned before court.
Management consultant Stephen Ernest Aning has applauded the efforts of the Bank of Ghana. In an interview with afropolitanonline.com. Aning hinted that :” Government should not allow black market business to thrive. Black market forex dealers could hoard dollars thus creating artificial shortages which could cause the Cedi to further depreciate and drive inflation higher”.
The Bank of Ghana’s operation has spawned mixed reactions from the Ghanaian Society. While some have applauded Government’s efforts to stem the tide of inflation, others have scorned the operation as a false start and a blame game.
Kevin Amoako said: This exercise is long overdue. How can we sit aloof and allow people to do a business by name “back market” for all these years?
Honorable Michael Asamoah : ‘The illegal forex exchange must stop. They are doing the business illegally. Why can’t they get license and pay taxes?”.
Asirifi Bismark quizzed: “How does their business affect the poor performance of the Cedi to the dollar? Help educate me”.
Georgina Adams opined: “This operation is long overdue. Government must use a strong hand in dealing with them”.
Aspiring Akim-Oda NDC communication officer Mr Adu questioned : “This is serious oo. Black market has been there for many many many years and they were never blame about the fall of Cedis. Why now? How much of black market dollars can save our economy? What about those who sell their commodities in dollars in our local market and those who price their house rent in dollars?”
Daniel Owusu : “Even the government prices duties in dollars so don’t worry your head”
Abugre Eric: “These are other nationals engaging in a business detrimental to the economy which affects the micro and the macro. Employment is a bane in our economy. However, the nefarious activities of these black market dealers go a long way to affect all and sundry. A stitch in time can save nine! Let’s be circumspect in our criticism. Logic is the best way out instead of emotions. Can you go and do same in other countries? Whatever means possible we have to adopt to save the nation from such wrecks as these must be employed. The government may not be doing well or even enough but your support as well as mine and others will save our Cedi.”
The Bank of Ghana cum police operation is purging the system of the miscreants and the fear of prosecution is in the air. However, as to whether the Bank of Ghana can continue to weed out the chaff is what many doubt. For now, keen eyes are watching to see if the operation will help stabilize the Cedi or not.