Blame churches for the cedi depreciation - Gov't

The Technical Economic Adviser at the Office of the Vice President, Dr. Samuel Kwadwo Frimpong has said churches in the country must be blamed for the depreciation of the local currency – Cedi.

Praises in Church

According to him, churches operating in Ghana with headquarters based outside the country convert their offertories and tithes into dollars before transferring them into forex accounts which affects the local currency.

"Many churches in Ghana do not have their head offices here. So their collections, offerings, and tithes are changed into dollars and transferred into forex accounts," he said.

Dr. Frimpong in an interview with Odame Agyare – a Freelance Journalist on a yet-to-be premiered show – "On Point show" said analysis of the Cedi indicates that the currency depreciates marginally linking it to Churches changing the local currency to the major trading currencies especially the dollar.

He added: "Recently, we have studied and noticed that on Mondays and Tuesdays the rate at which the Cedi is changed into Dollars rises. As a Christian and economist, I think it is also a contributory factor."

The local currency is still struggling to stabilise against the major international currencies with the US dollar, currently selling at GH¢5.86 to a $1.

However, the Bank of Ghana announced that it will release some $800 million onto the market to curb the cedi's depreciation which some said the measures adopted by the government to tackle the fall of the cedi will not work.

Economist and investment consultant, Kwame Pianim described the measures adopted as "most useless and disgraceful".

Speaking at an economic forum held in Accra on the theme: 'The Ghana cedi, breaking the cycle of depreciation', he said "...we have a market-determined one, and the central bank sometimes has moved in with $700 million to stabilise the cedi. It is the most useless and disgraceful use of our hard-earned foreign exchange that should be used for transforming the economy."

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