The Importers and Exporters Association is warning of possible food shortages and a further surge in food inflation in the coming days.
The warning comes on the back of the announcement by the Bank of Ghana to cease the supply of forex for the importation of some commodities in accordance with President Akufo-Addo’s directive in his Address to the Nation on the Economy delivered on Sunday, 30th October 2022.
A message from the Central Bank to commercial banks stated that: “in accordance with the president’s directive, issued in his recent address to the nation on the Ghanaian economy on Sunday 30 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.”
But the Importers and Exporters Association warns that the directive if implemented will have dire consequences on the supply of food and other basic supplies in the country.
Sounding the word of caution, the Executive Secretary of the Importers and Exporters Association, Samson Asaki Awingobit, said Ghana currently doesn’t have the capacity to enforce the directive to the latter without expected shortages.
“I can tell you that within the shortest possible time, we will see an uprise in prices of these commodities [rice, poultry, vegetable oils, toothpicks, pasta, fruit juice, bottled water, ceramic tiles] especially if the Bank of Ghana goes ahead to implement this policy to the latter.”
He elaborated that “what it means is that those who have these stocks in their warehouses, they will hoard them and by January, we will begin to see some shortages because the Commercial Bank will not have the forex to satisfy the market and so if the Bank of Ghana will not come in to help them, what it means is that only a few people will be able to raise these monies to go and bring these things.”