Mr Kenneth Kwamina Thompson, Chief Executive Officer of Dalex Finance and Leasing Company Limited has cautioned government that any attempt to combat the falling cedi using restrictions and bans was doomed to fail.
He said no amount of measures could salvage the rapidly depreciating cedi against the major foreign currencies until Ghanaians changed their attitudes on excessive addiction to foreign goods.
Mr Thompson gave the caution at the Chartered Institute of Marketing – Ghana, evening encounter with him (KK Thompson) on Thursday, on the theme: “…in a volatile economy, fortunes favour the bold.”
He blamed the falling cedi on acquisition of luxurious cars and insatiable taste for exotic foods, and called on monetary regulators to allow to currency to fall as determined by market forces.
He expressed doubt about the feasibility of Bank of Ghana’s measures announced recently to salvage the declining cedi, saying: not even President Mahama’s exhortation on Ghanaians to consume locally produced goods would work.
He said the current value of the cedi (GH₵2.5 to US$1) against the US dollar did not reflect the reality and projected the ‘true value’ of the cedi as being GH₵5.2 to US$1.
“The cedi must be allowed to fall, let the cedi continue to fall…it is not reflecting its true value. It has to fall to let us start changing our attitudes towards addiction to foreign goods,” he said.
Businesses are facing challenging times of steep depreciation of the cedi, decline in business confidence and significant reduction in consumer spending.
On February 4, the Central Bank of Ghana announced measures to shore up the cedi against the major foreign currencies, especially the US dollar, triggering mixed reactions from the business community and the public.
But Mr Thompson said opportunities abound in the current economic environment that business could take advantage of to grow their businesses.
He called on entrepreneurs to do detailed analysis of the turbulent situation and adopt strategies to grow their business to create more jobs.
He also urged government to take practical steps to promote export and implement import-substitution measures as well as provide incentives to programmes designed to attract more investment in exports.