President Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has described as “unacceptable”, the freedom granted the black market to control forex business in the country.
At a meeting with the leadership of the Forex Bureau Association of Ghana at the Jubilee House Wednesday, October 26, 2022, the President charged them to work with the Bank of Ghana to drive the black market out of the forex business.
He said “The state of our currency, determinant in our foreign exchange market is some a matter of notoriety now in Ghana.
“It is matter of very grave concern. We have been having a lot of discussions with the governor, the regulator, and I have also asked you to come and give us a flavour of what that he has been telling you and what we conceive out to be the problems.
“One thing that I thing it is very important for us to address, the initial import, my understanding, for the creation of the Forex bureaux was at the time when our economy was opening up and liberalizing, trying to find a mechanism for putting an end to black market operations on our currency, that was the initial import so we had these Forex bureaux regulated by the Bank of Ghana but which will make access to foreign exchange in the regulated, controlled manner easier.
“Unfortunately, somehow these initial motivation for the creation of the forex bureaux have still not materialized, the black market and you hear public commentators and the BoG itself and others saying there is still the black market that is basically driving both the supply as well as the rate of our foreign exchange transactions.
“That is for me, completely unacceptable, we have to find a way to work together to drive the black market out of business so that the formal sector, in terms of the banks, Forex bureaux.”
Forex bureaux operators have been lamenting the stiff parallel competition they are facing with illegal operators popularly known as black market.
Vice President of the Forex Bureau Association of Ghana, Dr Alex Akpabli said on the New Day show with Roland Walker on TV3 Friday, October 21, 2022, that the activities of the black marketers pose a serious challenge to them.
“We have the parallel market that competes with us, the black market, that is the challenge.
“If you need Dollar come to us and we can help but if you choose black market which is not safe then there is a problem.”
President of the Ghana Union of Traders Association (GUTA) Dr Joseph Obeng also indicated that there is a powerful association behind black market operations in Ghana.
He explained that these operators mostly receive up to date forex information that sometimes the regulated operators do not even have.
“Who is giving them this information?” He asked also on the New Day show.
He added “there is a cartel which is being built by black market, it is dangerous. Who is giving them the rate, it is a cartel.
“People are shying away from the main stream banks and and doing businesses with the Black markets.
The Bank of Ghana (BoG), together with the Ghana Police Service, on Tuesday, September 20, 2022, conducted a special operation on foreign exchange (forex) parallel market operators (otherwise known as black market operators) at identified hot spots within Business District (Rawlings Park, Tudu, Cowlane, Circle, Kimbu, Timber Market and Lava) and throughout the country.