President Mahama tasks Bank of Ghana, others to stem ‘dollarization’

Dr Henry Akpenamawu Kofi Wampah

Dr Henry Akpenamawu Kofi Wampah

Accra, April 5, GNA – President John Dramani Mahama on Thursday tasked the Bank of Ghana (BoG) and other relevant state agencies to work diligently to return inflation to single digit and stem the ‘dollarization’ of goods and services.

He also challenged the Central Bank to adopt measures that would subsequently reduce interest rates to serve as a booster to businesses and reshape the economy.

President Mahama said it was important to reverse inflation to single digit, reduce interest rates to competitive level to support the local private sector and ensure the predictability of the cedi in the interest of the economy and for foreign investors.

The President made this call when he swore into office Dr Henry Kofi Wampah as the new Governor of the Bank of Ghana at the Flagstaff House, Kanda in Accra.

He administered the oaths of allegiance, office and secrecy to Dr Wampah in a ceremony that was also witnessed by Vice-President Paa Kwesi Bekoe Amissah-Arthur, Mr Seth Terkper, Minister for Finance and Mr Prosper Douglas Kweku Bani, Chief of Staff.

Dr Wampah took over the BoG in acting capacity last year after President Mahama nominated Mr Amissah-Arthur, the Governor then, as the Vice President of the Republic.

President Mahama gave the assurance that he would work assiduously to support the central bank and the stakeholders to reduce the rate of inflation, adding “We will continue to do all we can to ensure that inflation goes back to a single digit and remains in single digits.”

He appealed to the Governor to collaborate with commercial banks to reduce interest rates.

“Often what the banks do is to pass on the risks in terms of interest rates,” President Mahama added.

The President declared government’s resolve to work with the Governor to bring down interest rates to make the cost of borrowing easier for the private sector.

He said, ‘The cedi remained relatively stable, but we need to do more to ensure that we protect that stability so that the cedi operates in a predictable manner both in the interest of the economy and for foreign investors.”

“The currency in Ghana is the Ghana cedi and we must continue to index prices in the Ghana cedis. The dollar and other foreign currencies are a means of international exchange and trade, and are not supposed to be the indicator of what currency prices we have,” he said.

Vice-President Amissah-Arthur said Government would seek Dr Wampah’s support in the management of the economy and hoped his rich experience and knowledge would do a great job to continue to stabilize the economy.

Dr Wampah pledged that the Bank under his administration would support the government to achieve its objectives of creating a prosperous economy.

He promised to continue to pursue a strong and resilient economy, micro economic stability and growth, sound monetary policy and also ensure the maintenance of price stability.

The Governor said the recent rise in inflation to about 10 per cent was mainly due to adjustments of petroleum prices in February 2013 and gave the assurance that the inflation rates would pick decline towards the end of the year.

“We will consolidate the present gains and accelerate transition to middle-income status,” he concluded.