Don't arrest black market operators, but engage them - Nana Akomea

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Wed, 2 Nov 2022 Source: peacefmonline.com

The Chief Executive Officer of the State Transport Corporation (STC), Nana Akomea, has asked government not to arrest the people operating in black markets and the forex sector.

Nana Akomea made this call following President Nana Addo's speech on Sunday, October 30, 2022 on the current status of the economy as well as measures his government is undertaking to resolve the economic crises.

Sika Mpɛ Dede

Speaking to the nation, the President said; "Fellow Ghanaians, as the French would say, l’argent n’aime pas le bruit, to wit, money does not like noise, sika mpɛ dede. Where there is chaos, where there is noise, where there is unrest, you will not find money. If you talk down your money, it will go down. If you allow some unidentifiable person to talk down your money, it will go down."

"The recent turbulence on the financial markets was caused by low inflows of foreign exchange, and was made worse in the last two to three weeks, in particular, by the activities of speculators and the Black Market. An anonymous two-minute audio message on a WhatsApp platform predicting a so-called haircut on Government bonds sent all of us into banks and forex bureaus to dump our cedis, and, before we knew it, the cedi had depreciated further.

"All of us can play a part in helping to strengthen the cedi by having confidence in the currency, and avoiding speculation. Let us keep our cedi as the good store of value it is. To those who make it a habit of publishing falsehoods, which result in panic in the system, I say to them that the relevant state agencies will act against such persons."

He underscored steps being taken to restore order in the forex markets.

Steps To Restoring Forex Market

"The following actions have been taken thus far:

1) enhanced supervisory action by the Bank of Ghana in the forex bureau markets and the black market to flush out illegal operators, as well as ensuring that those permitted to operate legally abide by the market rules. Already some forex bureaus have had their licenses revoked, and this exercise will continue until complete order is restored in the sector;

2) Fresh inflows of dollars are providing liquidity to the foreign exchange market, and addressing the pipeline demand;

3) the Bank of Ghana has given its full commitment to the commercial banks to provide liquidity to ensure the wheels of the economy continue to run in a stabilized manner, till the IMF Programme kicks in and the financing assurances expected from other partners also come in;

4) Government is working with the Bank of Ghana and the oil producing and mining companies to introduce a new legal and regulatory framework to ensure that all foreign exchange earned from operations in Ghana are, initially, paid to banks domiciled in Ghana to help boost the domestic foreign exchange market; and

5) the Bank of Ghana will enhance its gold purchase programme."

President Has Spoken, It's Time To Act

Speaking in an interview with Kwami Sefa Kayi on Peace FM's 'Kokrokoo' show, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah called on the State authorities not to let the President's orders be in vain.

"The President cannot go and stand at Airport Police station to arrest those selling money on the black market when he has given this direction and the Governor is there, the IGP and the Police officers are at the Airport Police station this morning. So, action must follow . . . and you see if we all decide to dump everything on the President as the only source of our interest and our criticisms, people will go scot free . . . We have to ensure action happens but it is the collective effort and pressure on all the agency Heads to get the action happening," he stated.

No Arrests

But Nana Akomea disagrees with the idea that the black market and forex operators should be apprehended as a solution to fixing the forex markets.

Making his submissions on 'Kokrokoo', he called for amicable resolution between the authorities and the forex operators.

"You must sit with them to find out their ways. Why doesn't the Bank of Ghana have dollar but some are at Cow Lane? You have to ask yourself that question and before you can find answers, you must sit with these people," he said.

Source: peacefmonline.com