“I would be surprised if the Bank of Ghana describes food importation as non-critical. I do not know if they want us to go back to 1983 hunger where countries like ours used to be calling to international bodies to come to our aid to feed our nation. For us, it came to us as a shock and surprise. We admit, the government wants ways and means to put confidence into our cedi, stabilise our cedi, reduce inflation and of course work towards reducing our interest rates for borrowing. That is understood. What we disagree with the government is to take a short-term, bold, half-measure.”
Sampson Asaki Awingobit, the Executive Secretary of the Importers and Exporters Association of Ghana (IEAG) said this when he spoke to A1 Radio’s Mark Smith on the Day Break Upper East Show.
His comments were in response to the Bank of Ghana’s withdrawal of foreign exchange support for import of goods described as non-critical goods.
The Bank of Ghana has withdrawn foreign exchange support to customers for the importation of certain non-critical or essential goods. The goods affected include rice, poultry, vegetable oils, toothpicks, pasta, fruit juice, bottled water and ceramic tiles.
An electronic message from the Bank of Ghana to the banks read “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”, it pointed out.
Mr. Awingobit questioned the ability of the local producers of rice and poultry to meet the demand levels in the country.
While admitting that the policy in the long-term is helpful to building the local economy, Mr. Awingobit maintains that in the short term, it may prove disastrous.
Source: A1radioonline.com|101.1MHz|Mark Kwasi Ahumah Smith|Ghana