Ghana Hotels Association has instructed its members to stop quoting prices in foreign currencies.
President of the Association, Edward Ackah Nyameke Jnr in an exclusive interview with JoyBusiness said that the Association had written to the Governor of the Bank of Ghana over concerns raised by the central bank over some hotels quoting in dollars.
According to him, “the BoG’s notice on the matter shows that services and products should be quoted in cedis and we are saying we agree on this matter.”
He added that the Association, “has met all the big hotels on this issue for them to quote in cedis” and that “any hotel quoting in dollars is infringing on the law.”
But there seems to be some disconnect on this topic as Tourism Minister, Barbara Oteng Djasi says her outfit finds no fault with hotels quoting prices in dollars as this strategy is aimed at cushioning themselves against cedi fluctuations.
The Bank of Ghana has warned against companies quoting in dollars as this flouts the country’s forex regulations but the Minister argued that so long as these hotels are receiving payments in cedis the quoting in dollars should not be an issue.
According to her, “the hotel rates are dollar rated but payments are made in cedis because of currency fluctuations.” She added that as long as payments are being made in cedis, quoting in dollars should not be an issue.
Bank of Ghana (BoG), has prohibited the pricing, advertising and receipt or payment for goods and services that are contracted locally in any foreign currency.
In a release issued signed by Alethea Godson-Amamoo on behalf of the Secretary to the BoG, the central bank cautioned companies, institutions and individuals against dealing in the business of foreign exchange without authorization from the bank.
“The general public is hereby reminded that the Foreign Exchange Act, 2006, (Act 723) prohibits the pricing, advertising and receipt or payment for goods and services in foreign currency in Ghana.
The sole legal tender in Ghana is the Ghana Cedi and the Ghana pesewa,” the release indicated.
According to the statement, persons found to have violated the directive would face summary conviction, a fine of up to seven hundred penalty units or a prison term of not more than eighteen months, or both.
The move by the BoG is expected to tackle the surging dollarization of the economy where charges for various goods and services that are procured locally are being quoted in dollars and other foreign currencies at the expense of the Ghana cedi.
According to economists, the pricing of goods and services in foreign currencies — or dollarization of the economy — is a key contributor to the depreciation of the local cedi, inflation and macroeconomic instability.
To some financial analysts, the situation has resulted in the plummeting value of the local currency against the US dollar and other major trading currencies.