Ghana bans use of foreign currencies in business transactions

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Ghanaian authorities Thursday said the use of foreign currencies to transact businesses in the country would no longer be permitted.

The Bank of Ghana Secretary Sandra Thompson said the ban on illegal forex trading in Ghana is in accordance with the Foreign Exchange Act, 2006 (Act 723) and that “violations are punishable on summary conviction.”

Banks, companies, institutions and individuals in Ghana are warned to desist from “engaging in foreign exchange business without a licence issued by Bank of Ghana.”

Also, pricing, advertising, receipting or making payments for goods and services in foreign currency in Ghana, without written authorization from Bank of Ghana are also prohibited.

Thompson noted such violations are punishable on summary conviction, by a fine of up to seven hundred (700) penalty units or a term of imprisonment of not more than eighteen (18) months, or both.

“Bank of Ghana hereby cautions the general public to desist from dealing in illegal forex activities (black market transactions), pricing, advertising, receipting or making payments for goods and services in foreign currency in Ghana, without the requisite licence or authorization from Bank of Ghana,” Thompson said.

“The General Public is hereby notified that the sole legal tender in Ghana is the Ghana Cedi.”

Thompson said BOG, in collaboration with National Security and Law Enforcement Agencies, will continue to clamp down on illegal foreign exchange operations.

The BOG executive said all offenders shall be dealt with in accordance with the law and urges the general public to report any violations witnessed to appropriate authorities.

Ghana’s West African neighbours Nigeria placed a ban on the sale of foreign exchange to bureaux de change in July 2021.

Central Bank of Nigeria governor Godwin Emefiele said the ban was necessary because the parallel market has become a conduit for illicit forex flows and graft.

“We are concerned that BDCs have allowed themselves to be used for graft,” Emefiele said.

“This measure is not punitive on anyone, but it is to ensure the CBN is able to carry out its legitimate mandate of serving all Nigerians.”

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