Story: Nana Poku

Ghana Cedi
Ghana Cedi

Sections of traders at Kantamanto, Okaishie and Circle who import goods from Europe andAsiahave expressed fear and disenchantment over what they called the unbridled deterioration of the Ghana Cedi against the foreign currencies.

Speaking to this paper in an exclusive interview, most of them almost in tears invariably cast aspersions and insinuation at the irresponsible manner in which some economic saboteurs have cashed in to buy and hoard the hard foreign currencies to the detriment of their businesses.

“We are calling on the government to step up its effort to stem the situation because we are choking under the current high and obnoxious exchange rate else we would advise ourselves politically. This is because we have petitioned the government through our executives to step in before our businesses collapse but, so far, no favourable response has come from government,” one trader at Kantanmanto remarked.

Sheff, who is the leader of second hand shoes sellers also told this paper that before January 2012, a forty-footer container of shoes attracted GH¢9,000.00 but as at now, it is hovering around GH¢13,000 to 14,000.00 and if it is not stemmed, they would have no choice but to close their shops and abandon their businesses.

Alhaji Almed, also of Kantanmato told this paper that, he used to go toDubaito buy goods but for the past 6 months he has not been able to do that. This is because he cannot predict or budget for the next two or three months. “You go and buy the goods at cut-throat prices but buyers want to determine their own price due to economic constraints but we cannot also sell at a loss”.

Alhaji said they appeal to the government to do something immediately to save the jobs of over 50,000 traders who are now in the economic lurch and quandary. “My Brother, look here, no sales, because people cannot afford to buy at current price and it is affecting our work, he showed me a piled- up goods unsold.

To ascertain the veracity of the traders clam, this paper went to a top customs officer at the ministries for confirmation and indeed, he corroborated what the traders were saying.

He told this paper that customs only abide strictly by the WTO rates ratified by member countries and so there is nothing they can do. He said at some point the officers consult the GRA boss who sometimes out of magnanimity tells them to be discreet in their dealings with the traders who genuinely need sympathy.

“The solution lies in the domain of the Ministry of Finance and Bank of Ghana because we don’t control the currency so at best we can show some discretion, that is all”, the officer sealed off.

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