LET’S ELIMINATE OPEN BLACK MARKETING IN GHANA
Alhaji Alhasan Abdulai
The precincts of Accra North Post Office at Kwame Nkrumah Circle known for telephone handset sales is fast becoming an avenue for brisk currency trade. This area which is close to the headquarters of Vodafone Ghana is fast becoming a hub for open currency black marketing. A visit to the place today would reveal young men who look like people from our neighboring countries displaying Ghana cedis and some foreign currencies. They call for customers fearlessly with the promise for better deal than offered by official dealers. A visit to the area between Mamoobi and Nima and the Accra central lorry park at Tudu would also show many men openly selling and buying foreign currencies. This has been happening for a long time now but because the situation is getting out of hand , we need to know that under the laws of Ghana only duly registered foreign exchange bureaus should be permitted to deal in foreign currencies. This is because their offices are visible and therefore can be contacted in event of difficulties during their work. Again the registered foreign exchanges pay taxes on their transactions annually that go to held in national development. The question to ask is why is the currency black marketing gaining grounds in the country now? A survey in our markets around shows that some businessmen resort to the black market because they are given higher rates on the foreign currencies sold on the black market. For example while a customer gets 3.35 cedis per dollar in Forex Bureaus he would be given 4.10 cedis for one greenback in the alleyway next to registered currency shop in the cow lane or some parts of Accra. Some Forex Bureau owners blame the situation on the rash decisions taken by the central bank that limited the amount of foreign currencies they can withdraw in our banks and how much money they can take out abroad on business trips. This has led to many people in possession to foreign currencies keeping them in their bed rooms in anticipation of reduction in the rate of cedis on the market. In all that happen on our black markets regarding our currency on the black market the nation is the loser. In order to stem the tide of the currency black marketing the authorities in charge must make a move to put a stop to the perpetrators of the crime. The activities of the illegal foreign exchange dealers is done in the open and is known to the law enforcement agencies including top officials of the Bank of Ghana and the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning. I do not see the reason why those involved in black market would be allowed to have a field day in their activities. Let us make a move by the law enforcement agencies deploy their intelligence arms to move in to lure the black marketers into the grips of the law. Since this task can be accomplished, the time to act is now.
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