Economics Professor and the Director of the Institute of Statistical, Social and Economic Research, Prof. Peter Quartey has bemoaned the seeming lack of action against persons engaged in the illegal trade of foreign exchange, especially the US Dollar, in different parts of the country.
According to him, the informal foreign exchange market is contributing to the volatility in the space.
A Bank of Ghana notice dated April 5, 2022, reminded the public that in accordance with the Foreign Exchange Act, 2006 (Act 723), companies, institutions and individuals are prohibited from, among other things, engaging in foreign exchange business without a license issued by the Bank of Ghana.
According to the Central Bank, 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.
The Central Bank thus cautioned 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 licence or authorization from Bank of Ghana.
But speaking on the matter, the Director of the Institute of Statistical, Social and Economic Research, Prof. Peter Quartey urged the Bank of Ghana to take action against the informal foreign exchange market.
“It’s only in Ghana and a few other countries that you can walk to a corner and get foreign exchange without any identification. You cannot just do that in other places. In our case, it is free for all. People just fly in or come across the borders to get forex and go out with it. These days they even operate on okada and would come and supply forex to you once you call them. I don’t think that is the way to go.”
“The informal forex market is driving some of the volatility we are seeing in the sector and I think it’s about time the Bank of Ghana enforces its regulations regarding the informal forex market,” he added.