More Fires On BoG

Pressure is still mounting on Bank of Ghana (BoG) under the chairmanship of Dr. Henry Kofi Wampah on one hand and the Ministry of Trade and Industry and Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning on the another hand to end the simmering cold war in the country over the current dollarization of Ghana economy.

Today has gathered that many private sector industry players including officials of the Association of Ghana Industry (AGI) and Ghana Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GCCI) and Continental Christian Traders Limited (CCTL) are distraught about what they see as a painful snub from the Mahama-led administration to include them in the decision-making process to dollarize the economy.

“We can tell you that a lot of the people we talking about do not want anything but just respect and acknowledgement of their efforts in supporting the government to push the growth of Ghana socio-economic. But since all the successive governments we elected to continue the good work of the country, they all have not been consulted us in the heart of taking any business decision.

“…But we hope that if the central government should have earlier on consulted we the private industry sector players, Ghana should have find a better solution to the current depreciation of the Ghana cedis,” the officials of AGI and GCCI expressed this sentiment at a-day dialogue session with the Deputy Governor of the BoG, Dr. Abdul Nashiru Issahaku, Minister of Finance and Economic Planning, Mr. Seth Tekper and Minister of Trade and Industry, Haruna Iddrisu.

On Wednesday February 11, 2014 the Deputy Governor of the BoG, Dr. Abdul Nashiru Issahaku, Minister of Finance and Economic Planning, Mr. Seth Tekper and Minister of Trade and Industry, Haruna Iddrisu met with the Managing Directors of all Association of Ghana industry and Ghana Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GCCI) all all private industry players operating in the country at the Alisa Hotel in Accra.

The meeting was to examine the problems bedeviling Ghana’s economy system which was causing serious revenue losses to the state.

In attendance were prominent personalities likeMr. Appiah Mikah an Industrialist and for Member of Parliament for Nkwakwa, President of the Association of Ghanaian Industry Mr. James Asare-Adjei, Otin Adjei, Board Chairman of the Ghana Electricity Company (ECG,)and and some others including some senior and deputy Ministers.

At that meeting, Mr. Asare-Adjei made presentations and demonstrated to the ministers of the State and officials of the Central bank on how the private industry sector players was losing millions of dollars on a regular basis in the country through dollarization of the economy in the country.

However in his contribution, the chairman of Continental Christian Traders Limited, Mr. Dorglas Akuamoah Boateng deplored the dominance of the country’s retail market by foreigners, particularly the Chinese and Nigerians.

He said it was a silent fact that needed an urgent rescue attention because since the retail market was foreign-dominated, the players there dictated prices, rates and charges of the sector.

He also described the situation as a national threat, explaining that if those in the sector decided to close their warehouses for a day, the country would be in a big trouble.

According to him from next year, the private sector industry players would feature prominently on the commodities market in the country.

He said they are going to make its mark on the commodities and trading scene in the country by dealing in rice, sugar, hardware and durable goods in order to rescue the country’s retail sector and hand it over to the indigenes.

The retail sector, according to him, was very important to the country’s development, and it was about time indigenous Ghanaians were encouraged to venture into it and take full control of it.

He called on the central government to support Ghanaians financially to venture into the retail market, adding “we will do collateral management for Ghanaians to break into that market”.

He said the call was not that foreigners should not go into the retail market, but it should be monopolized by Ghanaians.

He said priority should be given to Ghanaians, but was quick to add that “we should try and find out why the foreigners are winning in that sector”.

But in a quick response, Mr. Tekper and Hon Iddrisu disclosed that government is committed to ensuring that the economy recovers soon.

“On the side of government we also undertook to comply with all those directives because government itself is guilty of many of the inappropriate practices that the bank is complaining about”.

They added that “Government itself is charging for some of its services in dollars, government itself is transacting in dollars in certain respects, government itself is contracting loans and implementing projects in dollars and government is also not helping in some respects to enforce some of the regulations and they have become cultural and people think they are legitimate”.

The two ministers of State added that government would do everything possible to ensure that the cedi is stabilized soon.