The Bank of Ghana (BoG) has revealed that it will not hesitate to penalise persons and companies who flout the Foreign Exchange Act by pricing and taking payments for goods and services in any currency apart from the Ghana cedi.
This follows viral images of a shop attendant at Palace Hypermarket, on the Spintex Road in Accra, accepting dollars for payment from a customer for goods purchased.
A team from the central bank, led by its head of communications, Esi Hammond, in a market surveillance on Wednesday, visited the premises of Palace Hypermarket where it met and engaged with management of the shop.
“We support our stakeholders to alert them about the need to observe the rules and regulations of the land, particularly with respect to the Foreign Exchange Act which prohibits pricing in any other currency apart from the Ghana cedi,” she said.
“It has come to our notice that a few shops, schools and other institutions are charging in dollars. So, we have paid a visit to the Palace Mall and initially did a few shopping around to see what happens here. We realised that some shops are willing to take dollars as payment for goods purchased. So, we had to engage them and let them know that this contravenes the Foreign Exchange Act,” Ms Hammond added.
The team visited other shops, including one that had the inscription of a forex bureau, even though it does not have the licence to operate as such.
The general manager of the facility, Nana Kofi, insisted that despite the inscription, there is no forex bureau operating at the premises, but rather a travel and tour agency.
The central bank’s team accordingly directed that the inscription be taken off and for the management to apply for a licence to operate a forex bureau, if they intend to carry out such a business.