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Avoid making statements that could provoke trading community – GUTA warns Stephen Amoah

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The Ghana Union of Traders Association (GUTA) warned Deputy Minister of Finance, Dr. Stephen Amoah, against statements that could incite the trading community.

Dr. Joseph Obeng, the Union’s President, expressed disappointment with the deputy minister’s recent comments, blaming GUTA members for the cedi’s decline.

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During an interview on Accra-based Onua FM, Dr. Amoah accused certain GUTA members of using illicit currency exchange services, which he attributed to the cedi’s instability against the US dollar.

In response, GUTA President Dr. Joseph Obeng urged the deputy finance minister to collaborate with his sector counterpart, Dr. Amin Adam, to address the cedi’s depreciation against major trading currencies.

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“I believe the deputy minister’s comments are misguided and unfortunate, and he should avoid making statements that could provoke the trading community. Many traders’ resort to forex bureaus or black market currency exchange services to purchase their goods and this is by choice,” Dr. Obeng told GhanaWeb Business.

“GUTA strongly disagrees with the deputy minister’s attempt to shift blame for the cedi’s instability. This deflects attention from the government’s responsibility to address the issue. The situation is complex and requires a comprehensive approach,” he stressed.

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Dr. Obeng highlighted South Africa as a case study of a nation with a steady currency, attributing it to factors like robust governance, efficient policies, institutional strength, and cooperation between the government and stakeholders in tackling currency issues.

“The trading community in Ghana is already struggling with high taxes, duties, and the economic downturn. My advice is for the deputy minister to help find lasting solutions to this ongoing problem,” Dr. Obeng emphasized.

“The government should also implement a policy to tackle the depreciation issue once and for all and provide clarity on black market currency exchange services and forex bureaus,” he added.

The GUTA president affirmed the willingness of its members to aid the government in addressing the persistent depreciation of the cedi against key trading currencies.

Meanwhile, the Bank of Ghana attributes the cedi’s depreciation and recent developments in the foreign exchange market primarily to sentiments and public statements.

As of May 29, 2024, the domestic currency is trading at GH¢15.00 to $1 in the forex market and selling at GH¢14.02 on the BoG interbank market.

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