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Regulator of Ghana’s Financial sector, Bank of Ghana (BoG), has issued a statement prohibiting the charging and pricing of goods and services contracted locally in any foreign currency.

The statement signed by Alethea Godson-Amamoo on behalf of the Secretary to the BoG, the central bank cautioned companies, institutions and individuals against dealing in the business of foreign exchange without authorization from the bank.

“The general public is hereby reminded that the Foreign Exchange Act, 2006, (Act 723) prohibits the pricing, advertising and receipt or payment for goods and services in foreign currency in Ghana.

According to the statement, persons found to have violated the directive would face summary conviction, a fine of up to seven hundred penalty units or a prison term of not more than eighteen months, or both.

The move from the BoG is expected to tackle the surging dollarization of the economy where charges for various goods and services that are procured locally are being quoted in dollars and other foreign currencies at the expense of the Ghana cedi.

BoG Governor, Dr Ernest Yedu Addison, hinted in September last year that his outfit was going to push this regulation in favour of the local currency.

“We will enforce the law because we are concerned about that so we intend to strengthen the communication on the rules relating to pricing for the industry,” he had said at that MPC meeting.

Unfortunately, despite the existence of the Foreign Exchange Act, many companies and institutions in the country mainly Real estate developers, service providers in the hospitality sector, architectural and legal consultancies, some private schools and automobile dealers often charge in foreign currencies, a trend that has in recent times placed pressure on the local currency.

Economists in the country have blamed the depreciation of the local cedi, inflation and macroeconomic instability to the the pricing of goods and services in foreign currencies and or the dollarisation of the economy.

In March this year, the government had to inject some $800 million into the economy in an attempt to stabilize the cedi, which was trading over GH¢5.50 to the dollar.

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