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Cedi to regain strength in two weeks – Finance Minister

Ken Ofori-Atta – Finance Minister

The Government on Wednesday announced that it was adopting a number of measures, within the next two weeks, to reverse the depreciation of the Ghanaian currency; the cedi.

“I’m very confident that the reversal is going to occur, and make the cedi stable going forward,” Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta said at Parliament House in Accra.

Mr Ofori-Atta said the Government was to receive GH¢900 million receipts from COCOBOD and three billion Eurobond, launched last year, and additional bridge finance of $750 million.

Mr Ofori-Atta gave the assurance in an interview with journalists after the House had finished a debate on Government’s request for a two billion Ghana cedis Sovereign Guarantee for Ghana Amalgamated Trust Limited to support indigenous Ghanaian banks.

The Minister said he was sure the Ghana Cedi would stabilise against the major currencies soon.

He said the challenge was how to deal with the country’s imports and at the same time boost export, adding that the country needed to change her import dependency, “otherwise we’ll always be battling this issue, it does not matter which government is in power.”

Mr Ofori Atta recalled that, last year, the Central Bank had to intervene with 1.8 billion dollars.

For the first quarter of this year, the Government has already pumped in 90 million dollars.

Mr Ofori Atta said it was surprising that the cedi should depreciate after government efforts to stabilise the economy including the attainment of single digit inflation.

The vote on the debate to adopt the Finance Committee’s Report on  Government’s request for a GH¢2 billion  Sovereign Guarantee for Ghana Amalgamated Trust (GAT) Limited to support indigenous Ghanaian banks was deferred for lack of numbers.

The Minority supported the recapitalisation of the Agricultural Development Bank and the National Investment Bank, but was, however, against the employment of a private entity, the GAT, arguing that the Government should directly recapitalise the two national banks, rather than throwing them into private hands.

The Majority side, citing JP Morgan as example, however, argued that during the financial crisis of the United States of America, private entities were used to recapitalise the banks, for which the American Government later made good returns.

Source: GNA

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