Bi-partisan committee set to investigate cedi depreciation

President Akufo-Addo has directed an investigation into Ghana’s cyclic currency depreciation after another round of battering triggered a lamentation.

Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta told Parliament Thursday, government is set to form a bi-partisan committee to carry out this investigation.

The cedi by March 13 had depreciated against its major trading currency, trading at around ¢5.80.

it however began to appreciate last week, selling from between ¢5.50 to ¢5.20.  Independent traders were selling dollars for cedis at rates as low as ¢4.70 to the dollar in Accra yesterday.

Checks online as of Thursday, the local currency is selling at ¢5.17.

But the Akufo-Addo administration is not alone in this struggle as previous governments have suffered same. For instance, during John Mahama’s tenure as President, the depreciation of the cedi was much more marked than its performance these past few months under the Akufo-Addo government.

In former president Mahama’s first 26 months, from January 2013 to February 2015, the cumulative depreciation of the cedi against the US dollar stood at 45.8 per cent.

However, in the first 26 months of the Akufo-Addo government, from January 2017 to February 2019, the cumulative depreciation of the cedi was 14.6 per cent. In 2013, under Mahama, the cedi depreciated by 15.6 per cent and it depreciated further by 32 per cent in 2014. In 2015 and 2016 it depreciated by 11.9 per cent and 9.7 per cent, respectively.

Under Akufo-Addo, however, the cedi depreciated by 4.4 per cent in 2017 and 8.8 per cent in 2018. So far in 2019, it has depreciated by 3.6 per cent.

But government does not want to get comfortable.

The Finance Minister says President Akufo-Addo wants a solution to the problem sooner than later.

Mr Ofori-Atta told Parliament on Thursday when he delivered an update on the country’s completion of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) programme which was entered in 2015, took advantage of the opportunity to talk about the depreciating cedi.

He said “the president has directed that I investigate the structural causes for the depreciation of the cedi and to propose measures to address the situation.

“The governor and I will put a bi-partisan committee together to proceed immediately,” he disclosed.

Sourcer: Fiilafmonline/Joy

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