A member of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) communication team, Felix Kofi Munkoh has hit hard at the Akufo-Addo administration over the nose-diving cedi in recent times.
Prior to the 2016 general elections, Vice President Mahamudu Bawumia who was the then running mate for the New Patriotic Party (NPP) told Ghanaians the NPP government would stabilise the economy and restore value to the Cedi, and stressed that their party had the men to work for the development of the country.
Few months after taking over from the NDC government, Dr Bawumia bragged that the Cedi had been stabilised following what he described as good nterventions the Akufo-Addo administration had put in place.
However, 25 months into government, a Dollar is trading for GHS 5.16p from GHS 3.70p bequeated to the NPP government in 2017.
But reacting to the concerns of Ghanaians over the new dynamics, Mr Munkoh also known as ‘Abusuapanyin’ slammed the government for “deceiving Ghanaians.”
“When they wanted Ghanaians to vote for them they said they have the men. They said they will arrest the cedi and make Ghana a place for making busines, but what we see now is incompetence,” he said.
Munkoh said Dr Bawumia’s incompetence has been known after he bragged that the Cedi had been arrested and put in jail and the key given to the Inspector General of Police (IGP).
“He said they had the men. so where are the men?” the communicator asked as he described the government as very incompetent. “They lie their way into power and their incompetence has exposed them.”
The Ghana cedi has depreciated against the US dollar by 9 percent. In February, it was GH¢4.43 against $1.00. Analysts have said it is the fastest rate of depreciation in four months.
Importers and exporters in Ghana have expressed worries over the free fall of the Cedi, saying their capital has kept shrinking significantly as the currency continues to weaken against the US Dollar.
To the importers, the amount of money needed to buy the same quantity of goods outside a year ago cannot do so today because the Cedi keeps declining. The cedi depreciation has also affected duties they pay at the ports, as that is also pegged at the current forex rate.
The situation has resulted in reducing profit margins as business owners are unable to transfer all the effect to consumers.
The Deputy General-Secretary of the Ghana Union of Traders Associations (GUTA), Richard Amamoo, told the Business & Financial Times the cedi-depreciation has affected his business.
“Last year [August], a full container of speakers cost me US$20,000 at the rate of GH¢4.7 to the dollar, making it GH¢90,000. But that same quantity of products will cost me GH¢103,000 using the current interbank rate of GH¢5.16. This means I need an additional GH¢9,200 to import that same container today,” he said
Mr Amamoo continued: “And when it comes to computation of duty, Customs is using the same dollar rate for the duty. So, in effect, the duty we paid last year for the same quantity of goods has increased because of the cedi’s depreciation,” he said.
Mr. Amamoo said importers would have some respite if government computed the duties by adjusting the rate quarterly, rather than using the daily interbank dollar rate.