The Ministry of Finance says Google has apologized for displaying a wrong exchange rate for the Ghanaian cedi.
Google’s currency converter widget last Friday displayed an erroneous exchange rate for the cedi pegging it at over 22 cedis to a dollar when the actual rate was about four times less.
The Finance Ministry said Google’s Head of Public Policy & Government Relations, West and Francophone Africa, Titi Akinsanmi in a letter to the Finance Minister and the Governor of the Bank of Ghana admitted that the quoted exchange rate was an error which was due to a “minor glitch” but was “quickly fixed.”
The Finance Ministry stated that, Titi Akinsanmi in the letter said Google always aim to provide accurate and useful information to its visitors but may encounter temporary challenges that result in situations such as the one experienced last week.
“We always aim to provide people with the most relevant, useful information to help them to make the right decisions. But sometimes there are temporary issues that can cause people to have undesired experiences, like the one this past Friday. This was regrettable,” said Mrs Akinsanmi.
Many Ghanaians who identified the figure as an anomaly took on Google in various social media commentaries over the glitch.
Although the country’s currency had performed poorly in the past week, the amount quoted by Google was outrageous and left many in disbelief.
Ghana’s West African neighbour, Nigeria was also recently affected by the glitch.
The Naira, according to Google was trading at twice the expected amount against its major trading currencies.
Pakistan’s Rupee suffered a similar fate in January 2019.
Below is the full statement from the Finance Ministry
Google Regrets Currency Convertor Glitch Against Cedi
Google regrets a glitch in their exchange rate currency convertor that affected their cedi to dollar rates last Friday.
Accra, Wednesday 20th March, 2019 – On Friday, 15th March, Google’s currency convertor widget displayed a cedi to dollar rate that was four times the actual value, alongside erroneous market rates of a number of currencies against the Ghanaian Cedi.
2. In a letter addressed to the office of the Minister for Finance, Ken Ofori-Atta and the Governor of the Bank of Ghana, Ernest Addison, Mrs Titi Akinsanmi, Google’s Head Public Policy & Government Relations, West and Francophone Africa said: “we are aware of the issue of inaccurate conversions for Ghanaian Cedi currency on Friday the 15th of March. This was caused by a minor glitch that was quickly fixed.”
3. The alleged “minor glitch” went viral on social media shortly after it appeared online, as Ghanaians sought to understand whether Google’s currency convertor’s ludicrous rates were true. Google did not specify if their system had been attacked by malware.
4. “We always aim to provide people with the most relevant, useful information to help them to make the right decisions. But sometimes there are temporary issues that can cause people to have undesired experiences, like the one this past Friday. This was regrettable,” said Mrs Akinsanmi.
5. Although she expressed regret over what has affected two other countries since the beginning of the year, Mrs Akinsanmi stopped short of apologizing for the glitch.
6. Nigeria was also recently affected by a similar “glitch” as the country headed to the polls in February.
On the 22nd of February, the Naira had traded at about twice its normal value. It was the second time Africa’s largest economy had suffered from an error in Google’s currency converter system. Mid-January this year, Pakistan Rupee also suffered a glitch with affected values similar to what occurred in Nigeria.
PUBLIC RELATIONS UNIT,
MINISTRY OF FINANCE
By: Jonas Nyabor | citinewsroom.com | Ghana