Ghana’s Cedi Situation Is Like ‘Cancer Patient’ – Tony Aidoo

Ambassador designate for the Netherlands, Dr Tony Aidoo has likened Ghana’s current economic challenges caused by a depreciating cedi to a “cancer patient” who needs a thorough diagnosis and treatment.

According to Dr Aidoo, the measures announced by the Bank of Ghana to arrest the plummeting cedi are “panicky” and would not holistically address the problem.

The Central Bank last weekend announced several measures to halt the free fall of the Ghana cedi against the major trading currencies, including the US dollar.

The measures included all transactions in the country should be conducted in Ghana cedis in compliance with Bank of Ghana Notice dated October 10, 2012.

The Bank of Ghana also warned of pecuniary sanctions, jail terms, suspension and revocation of the operating license of persons who flout the rules.

Speaking on the measures implemented by the Bank of Ghana on Alhaji and Alhaji on Radio Gold Saturday, Dr Tony Aidoo said the central bank only focused on the demand side of the problem and wondered what happened to the supply aspect.

“My initial reaction to the measures was that the measures were panicky. Panicky in three respects. On the part of the Bank, it is only “tackling the demand side, but where is the supply side? They should be done in tandem not in sequence, not in isolation, they must be done in tandem.”

He does not accept the arguement that “you can stem demand,” because to stem demand would means “you are putting a break on the economy.” The demand, he said, is coming from the commercial and service sectors of the economy which are the growing sectors.

Dr Tony Aidoo urged that Ghana should not “live in a fool’s paradise that once we have initiated this demand measures, we will reduce the demand. The demand will not reduce,” because the current situation is “like a cancer patient,” whose cancer is growing. He said the short term medical measures being taken would only “stabilize the patient’s conditions,” but will not tackle the root cause of the problem.

He said the only way to arrest the downfall of the cedi against it trading currencies is increase supply and “it is the duty of the Bank of Ghana [to do so]”

The Ambassador designate also took a swipe at the criticis who have attributed the current economic phenomenon to economic mismanagement.

“First of all I think it is unscientific, unintelligent and dishonest on the part of all those who believe that the phenomenon of recurrent depreciation of the cedi against its trading currencies is a function of financial mismanagement,”

“That kind of assertion is dishonest, its unintelligent, it has no intellectual foundation because the people talking I believe don’t even know anything about economics much less the dynamics of international economics. If they were honest, they would have seen that this is a recurring phenomenon,” he stressed.

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