The Bank of Ghana (BoG) has stated that it will no longer provide foreign exchange support to importers for the importation of some products into the country.
It said the items include rice, poultry, vegetable oil, toothpicks, pasta, fruit juice, bottled water, ceramic tiles and other non-critical goods – items which can be locally produced in the country.
The Ghanaian Times gathered that the move by the BoG was in line with the directive by the President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, during his address to the nation on October 30, 22.
The President addressing the country about the current developments in the economy, said the government would review the current import regime to help bring stability to the economy.
“…we will review the standards required for imports into the country, prioritise the imports, as well as review the management of our foreign exchange reserves, in relation to imports of products such as rice, poultry, vegetable oil, toothpicks, pasta, fruit juice, bottled water and ceramic tiles, and others which, with intensified government support and that of the banking sector, can be manufactured and produced in sufficient quantities in Ghana,” the President said.
“The government will, in May 2023 – that is, six months from now – review the situation. We must, as a matter of urgent national security, reduce our dependence on imported goods, and enhance our self-reliance, as demanded by our overarching goal of creating a Ghana beyond Aid,” he said.
“Much as we believe in free trade, we must work to ensure that the majority of goods in our shops and marketplaces are those we produce and grow here in Ghana. That is why we have to support our farmers and domestic industries, including those created under the One District, One Factory initiative, to help reduce our dependence on imports, and allow us the opportunity to export more and more of our products and guarantee a stable currency that will present a high level of predictability for citizens and the business community,” President, Akufo-Addo stressed.
He further said, “Exports, not imports, must be our mantra. Accra, after all, hosts the headquarters of the secretariat of the African Continental Free Trade Area.”
A message by some banks to their customers and clients seen by the Ghanaian Times said “in accordance with the President’s directive, issued in his recent address to the nation on the Ghanaian economy on Sunday, October 30, 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.”
The source at the BoG said the withdrawal of forex support for the importation of products which could be produced locally, formed part of measures to stabilise the Cedi and bring stability to the economy.
The Ghanaian Cedi had come under intense pressure against its international peers such as the dollar.
BY KINGSLEY ASARE