The Bank of Ghana (BoG) has cautioned businesses to desist from pricing goods in foreign currencies such as the dollar.
In a press statement, the bank reminded the public that the Ghana Cedi still remained the sole legal tender for transactions in the country.
Part of the statement reads:
“The BoG cautions the general public to desist from dealing in illegal forex activities (black market transactions), pricing, advertising, receipting or making payments for goods and services in foreign currency in Ghana without the requisite license or authorisation from Bank of Ghana.”
The statement prescribed certain sales activities that people may be conducting using foreign currencies such as the dollar including:
The warning comes as Ghana’s Cedi has lost roughly 20% of its value versus the dollar in 2022 so far, making it the major currency effect of the Russian-Ukraine conflict.
At the time of writing:
GHS/USD was trading at 0.1369, indicative of a 17.12% decline against the US dollar (YTD)
The Ghana Cedi has lost 44.63% of value against the US dollar in the last 5 years
That scenario notwithstanding, the bank has reminded the public of the consequences of transacting using foreign currencies.
According the bank, the practice was against the Foreign Exchange Act 2006 (Act 723) which prohibited individuals, companies, and institutions from engaging in foreign exchange business without a license issued by the bank or pricing, advertising, receipting or payment of goods and service in foreign currency.
Those who were found culpable, the statement said, would be subjected to a fine of up to 700 penalty units or a term of imprisonment of not more than 18 months or both.
The Bank further noted that it would, in collaboration with National Security and Law Enforcement Agencies, continue to clamp down on all illegal foreign exchange operators in the country and would be made to face the full force of the law.