We need to break the whip on illegal forex trading

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Ernest Addison, Governor, BoG

THE Bank of Ghana (BoG) seeks the support of the judiciary and law enforcement authorities in its quest to bring lasting common sense to the informal foreign exchange (forex) market.

The regulator said a sanitized bureau de change sector was needed to build a stronger and more resilient economy for businesses to thrive.

The call comes on the heels of free trading of foreign currency, especially the US dollar, on the open market, also known as the black market, without any formal process to record the identity of the buyer or seller. and also help the BoG to keep track of these transactions. (See the full article on the first page)

The Graphic Business applauds the BoG’s appeal, although too late, due to the impact of these illegal activities on the local currency.

In countries like Nigeria and South Africa, among many jurisdictions on the continent, under no circumstances can one buy or exchange the dollar without going through a rigorous process that includes the need to fill out a form and produce a passport. valid. Once the transaction is successful, an official acknowledgment is issued as part of the transaction tracking process.

Unfortunately in Ghana, this is not the case. The dollar is sold on the street like other products are sold on the sly, in full view of the public.

At the main bus terminal of Kotoka International Airport, which is also next to the main airport police station, a group of men can be found trading currency in the open air. They rush to every car that stops near them in their quest to sell or buy the dollar.

Other areas where this illegal trade thrives include Nima, a suburb of Accra, and the popular Zongo Lane in Accra’s central business district.

On how some of these black market operators access their funds, Graphic Business investigations revealed that some of the dollars in this market are provided by bank staff who buy foreign currency at a cheaper rate. from their place of work and supplies on the black market to be sold. at a higher rate.

These nefarious activities, among many other strategies according to experts, are part of what fuels speculation and the artificial hoarding of currency deliberately to cause shortages in the system. This development has a negative impact on the strength of the cedi.

The graphics industry is struggling to understand why, despite the very strict laws we have in the country to control some of these illegal practices, we have constantly watched as they continue to harm our economy and indeed the local currency.

It is beyond us why the very things that hurt the majority but enrich the few are allowed to fester long only for certain action to be taken when things get worse.

We believe the security agencies, the BoG and all other relevant agencies are very aware of what is going on, but as usual we are staying away as if nothing is happening.

The document would like to convince the central bank to follow the call to ensure that there is lasting common sense in the system to prevent such illegalities from happening.

We also call on the Bank of Ghana to stop banks from selling dollars to their staff at less than the stated rate for obvious reasons as most of what they get ends up on the black market at outrageous rates .

As a nation, we all need to be mindful of what is happening around us and their impact on the economy and, where appropriate, raise red flags and insist on action.

Let’s all notice that the more we sit as spectators, the more some of us have our way of getting rich at our expense.

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