The Association of Ghana Industries (AGI) has welcomed the Bank of Ghana’s policy to withdraw foreign exchange support for the importation of non-essential goods.
This follows an electronic announcement made by the central bank to withdraw foreign exchange support to discourage the importation of some non-essential commodities.
The commodities affected include rice, poultry, vegetable oils, toothpicks, pasta, fruit juice, bottled water and ceramic tiles.
Speaking in an interview with Citi News, the Greater Accra Regional Chairman for the Association, Dr. Tsonam Cleanse Akpaloo, explained that, the policy will encourage the consumption of local products that will contribute to the stabilization of the cedi.
He further said that, the policy will strengthen the private sector to augment its production of local goods.
“If government is taking steps to ensure that local products are given the needed attention, it is indeed a great thing for AGI. As you see, the main challenge we are facing now is we are not patronizing locally made products and relying on imported products thus, making the cedi fall under intense pressure”, Dr. Akpaloo added.
An economics lecturer at the University of Ghana, Professor Lord Mensah, in a separate interview described the policy directive by the central bank as “harsh”.
According to him, the central bank should have gradually enforced the policy while assessing whether local farmers have the capacity to augment production of the non-essential commodities.
“You (BoG) can’t get up overnight and put up a statement and not assess the capacity of the local farmers. Usually, such policies are supposed to be gradual because you look at your target base”, Prof. Mensah noted.