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NDC MP dumps bi-partisan committee to investigate cedi fall

The Member of Parliament for Ho Central, Mr Benjamin Kpodo, has declined invitation to serve on a government committee to investigate the fall of the Ghana cedi, the Ghana News Agency is reporting.

Hon. Benjamin Kpodo

Mr Kpodo is a member of parliament's Finance Committee and also the deputy ranking member on parliament's Local Government and Rural Development Committee.

The committee, know as the FX Development Committee, is a bi-partisan committee set up by the Ministry of Finance to propose solutions to the continuous depreciation of the cedi.

The members of the committee are drawn from the Office of the Vice President, Bank of Ghana, Agriculture Ministry, Ghana Union of Traders Association (GUTA), Association of Ghana Industries, some universal banks among other key stakeholders. The committee is chaired by the Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta.

Addressing the media upon the constitution of the committee, Deputy Finance Minister, Charles Adu-Boahen explained: "As has empirically been established, the seasonal fall of the cedi can be explained by external headwinds and cyclical domestic demand for forex by corporates and individuals for trade settlements in recent times, increasing demands by the energy sector actors as well. Giving the debilitating impact of the cedi's depreciation, the government had established a foreign exchange development committee to address this challenge”.

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The Deputy Finance Minister also allayed fears of critics that the new committee will usurp the powers of the central bank.

He said the committee will complement the efforts of the Bank of Ghana in curtailing the usual poor performance of the cedi against other major foreign currencies.

“The formation of this committee is not to infringe on the independence of the central bank in its foreign exchange operations,” he said.

According to Bank of Ghana data, in December 2019, the cedi had lost almost 13 per cent of its value to the US dollar compared to the same period in 2018, when it shed about 8.2 per cent to the US currency.

From 2016 to 2018, the cedi depreciated by 9.6 per cent, 4.9 per cent and 8.4 per cent respectively, according to a report by the Daily Graphic.

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