It has now been established that Bankers have a major hand in the meltdown of our currency, the Ghanaian Cedi. What is unhealthy is the ability to perpetrate crime of all nuances in my beloved country, Ghana, and go scot-free depending on who is backing who and what is happening here or there. To this extent, and before I continue with my submission, I wish to make an urgent appeal that all foreign banks in Ghana must be bracketed within parameters to keep their monetary crimes in check. Our national banks must be given the upper hand with respect to foreign exchange dealings such that they can remain within the ambits of the law.
Bankers cannot be absolved from fiscal shenanigans. All potential buyers of US Dollars from foreign Banks for travel or other genuine reasons must note that the 2009 issues may be included in the bills that they receive, but those same cashiers would refuse to receive these same dated denominations if you returned to deposit or sell for the flimsy reason that it is a directive from the Bank of Ghana. I once made a report to the Governor, who blatantly told me that there was no directive to that effect. I assume that he acted upon this tipoff because this phenomenon disappeared, hopefully, forever.
Banks receive their dollar quotas from the BoG. Many bankers hoard the cash to sell to customers for a commission. It is unspoken language that is understood across board. Of course, the customers include businesspersons, forex bureaus, and black-market pushers. The former two end up dealing with the latter for a commission. So, imagine the rollercoaster ride of the dollar until it gets to those who genuinely need the cash.
Then come the galamseyers. The proliferation of galamsey has brought about an unprecedented demand for the US Dollar. It has become such a free-for-all activity that many criminals have found overwhelming wealth. Thus, the need for US Dollars mounted pressure on the cedi, and Just like a river that continued to buildup pressure until it burst its banks, so did the cedi burst the safety limits and came crashing down on us. It does not take rocket science to diagnose this ailment of our very existence.
It is for this reason that the President, His Excellency Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, has waged all-out war against galamsey. I hope this time round, the people involved will not be compromised by dirty money like their predecessors to turn a blind eye!
In similar manner, the unholy gurus of the National Demoncratic Congress, NDC, are as guilty of the crime as the pimp in the case of child defilement. Yes, they have swept a big chunk of the dollars on the black market, forex bureaus, and the banks. This strategy is to purposely exert more pressure on the cedi causing the currency crunch. How unpatriotic can one be? Theirs is a case study in apathy to the national woes!
Then again, if we allow criminals such leeway, we become accomplices in their activities not because we are dealing with them but because we are unable to stem the phenomenon and root out the causes. The laws are not working, but how can they when those charged with cracking the whip cannot find it in the first place?
Monitoring systems must be added and applied to effectively sanitise the system. The finance ministry must sit up! The Bank of Ghana must create a taskforce to scour the market and keep all stakeholders engaged and on their toes. We cannot afford to remain in meetings huddled up in a cosy airconditioned complex like a spoilt cat that has lost its instinct to chase the house mice as it watches them gnaw at the fabric and the drapers. Soon the house will be naked just like our bottoms are!
GOD bless the President! GOD bless Ghana and make her great and strong!
By Fadi Dabbousi