Recently, the Bank of Ghana warned businesses quoting U.S. dollar prices that the practice remains prohibited, noting that the cedi remains Ghana’s sole legal tender. The bank said it is working with law enforcement to “clamp down on illegal foreign exchange operations.”
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In addition to naming and shaming businesses violating the law, a Ghanaian actress urged the central bank to stop Ghanaians from operating USD accounts.
Following shortages of foreign exchange and currency depreciation, which continue to weigh on the Ghanaian economy, the country’s central bank has again warned businesses displaying prices in U.S. dollars that the cedi is the sole legal tender.
Responding to Ghanaian actress Lydia Forson’s Nov. 2 tweet which questioned the practice of quoting prices in U.S. dollars for local real estate transactions, the Bank of Ghana (BOG) insisted that the practice is still outlawed.
Also, in its reply to the actress’ tweet, the BOG said it has since enlisted the services of law enforcement agencies in its bid to end the practice.
“BOG is collaborating with law enforcement agencies to clamp down on illegal foreign exchange operations. We encourage you to report any violations to email@example.com,” the central bank said.
As explained in the BOG’s April 22 public notice, Ghanaian businesses are prohibited from pricing, advertising, or paying for goods and services using foreign currency. The notice warned persons found violating the law they risked being imprisoned for up to 18 months.
Also Read: Ghana Cedi Falls Like Luna and Worst Performing Currency Against USD
Some Twitter users that replied to the BOG’s tweet seemed to question the central bank’s claim that it wants to stop the practice. For instance, one user named Amin asked: “Are you saying no agents of BOG have seen those billboards in town advertising properties in foreign-denominated currencies?”
Others suggested that the cedi’s depreciation is the primary reason why some businesses are quoting prices in U.S. dollars, and naming and shaming institutions that are violating the law. One user added that the BOG should “stop people from operating USD accounts, especially those who have nothing to do with international trade or schooling abroad.”
Another user, The Ivan, claimed that Ghana’s import duty is indexed to the USD which may suggest that the laws against quoting prices in U.S. dollars “are just for show.”