The Member of Parliament for the Obuasi West constituency has threatened to haul the ministry of finance and the bank of Ghana before parliament. Mr. Kwaku Kwarteng is accusing the central bank of fraudulently massaging exchange rate figures.
In a letter addressed to the central bank, he cites discrepancies between figures released by the exchequer and rates on the market.
He stated, “Since 11th July 2014, the Bank of Ghana has been publishing interbank foreign exchange rates that deviate drastically from the official rates quoted by Ghanaian banks and rates prevailing in the Ghanaian currency market. Consequently, per the Bank of Ghana figures, the Cedi has remained quite stable in the last three months while it has depreciated significantly in Ghana’s foreign exchange market.
Speaking to ultimate radio, he expressed concerned the trend poses dire consequences for industries directly affected by forex.
He lamented, “Our cocoa farmers will be cheated because when government exports cocoa, it receives payment in dollars and they in turn use the Bank of Ghana interest rates to pay our cocoa farmers”.
“My own community has Anglo Gold Ashanti here and the salary of the workers is indexed in dollars. If the company looks at the bank of Ghana rates, it means they have to pay lower to the workers than if the BoG were stating the market rates,” he added.
He warned, “as soon as parliament resumes, if this illegality continues, I will file an urgent question for the minister and the Governor to come to parliament to explain why this is going on.”
Speaking to the issue, banking consultant, Nana Otuo Acheampong agreed with Mr. Kwarteng’s position.
The Principal Consultant with the Osei Tutu II Centre for Executive Education & Research stated that the position didn’t differ widely from the comments made by the 2012 vice presidential candidate of the NPP, Dr Mahmud Bawumia a few weeks back.
He however emphasized that the discrepancies were not deliberate but technical.
“The way the BOG system works is that the rates move when there is a transaction but if for nothing at all, the BoG rates go to confirm the problem we have in the foreign currency market where the demand and supply intersections are not happening,” he explained.
He stated, “What the BoG gives is a theoretical figure very similar to the prime rate that the MPC sets”.
He advised that the citizenry rather use figures from banks and forex bureaus for their commercial activities as the Bank of Ghana’s rates may not be applicable for all market activities.
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