All Ghanaian commercial banks have been ordered by the central bank to suspend lending foreign currency for the importation of non-essential products such as rice, poultry, vegetable oil, toothpicks, pasta, fruit juice, bottled water, ceramic tiles, and others.
The Bank of Ghana reports that this instruction will take effect on Thursday, November 17, 2022.
“... in accordance with the President [Akufo-Addo] directive issued at his recent address to the nation on the Ghanaian economy, on Sunday 30th October, 2022, the Bank of Ghana will no longer provide FX support for the imports of rice, poultry, vegetable oils, toothpicks, pasta, fruit juice, bottled water, ceramic tiles and other non-critical goods”.
“Please be advised and act accordingly,” the communique to the banks read.
According to the government, this action will lessen the nation's reliance on imports, which will diminish the high demand for US dollars and other major foreign currencies and, as a result, slow down the cedi's rapid devaluation.
Members of the Korea Importers Association of Ghana have also voiced their alarm over the continuous depreciation of the Ghanaian cedi in a related development.
They are requesting a drastic reduction in import duties since they claim that their firms are crumbling due to the devaluing cedi and excessive duties.
Dumenu George, the general secretary, claimed during a news conference that their business had been badly impacted by the duplication of duties and additional fees on duty that delay the passage of goods at the ports.
He claims that clearing agents who are overworked and unable to meet deadlines cause demurrage.
He pointed out that importers prefer to pay banks directly using unique codes to speed up the clearing of products.
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