President urges traders, transport operators to reduce prices as cedi appreciates
President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo Sunday pushed manufacturers, traders, and transport operators to reduce the prices of goods and services as the cedi firmed against major trading currencies.
“I appeal to manufacturers, traders, and transport operators, who at the height of the cedi’s recent depreciation increased prices of goods and services to reduce their prices now that the cedi is regaining much of its strength.
“I believe this is not only a fair request but also a just one… I urge all of you to join me in the clarion call so that at the very least, we can have a more pleasant Christmas,” he said.
The President made the call at a special service to climax activities to mark the Centenary Anniversary celebration of the Ga Presbytery of the Presbyterian Church of Ghana at the Independence Square in Accra.
The occasion was on the theme: “Grateful for our Heritage, Forging Ahead in Unity and Faith.”
The President told the gathering that the strengthening of the cedi “has not happened by Chance,” but through the implementation of deliberate policies by the Government in collaboration with the Bank of Ghana.
Those interventions include cedi liquidity tightening measures resulting in the offloading of forex as a store of value by speculators, the improvement of forex inflows from remittances and the mining sectors, and the reaching of the staff-level agreement with the International Monetary Fund for a three-billion-dollar package.
“All these have combined to bring the cedi to an improved position, and I can assure you that the government will continue to work hard to maintain and sustain the gains made,” he said.
The cedi appreciated 47 percent against the dollar and gained on all other currencies as of Friday’s close.
Noting that the country was not out of the woods, President Akufo-Addo said the government was determined to implement the appropriate policy measures to consolidate and sustain the gains made by the cedi in recent times.
“With appropriate policy, determination and hard work on our part, things are begging to turn around; what seemed impossible yesterday is now becoming possible.
“We are definitely not yet out of the woods, however today, the cedi is rapidly appreciating against the US dollar and all major currencies, making up for its losses and the price of petroleum products are reducing at the pump.” he said.
The President disclosed the Bank of Ghana, in the weeks ahead, would continue the purchases of forex from the mining and oil sectors to enhance liquidity supply to the market.
The Bank would also continue with the single, unified forex forward auction and some modest targeted bilateral support to critical imports and the implementation of the gold for oil swap transaction to significantly remove forex pressures on the cedi.
President Akufo-Addo assured the gathering that his administration “is determined to bring even further relieve to you” and return the economy to the high rate of growth that characterized the country’s development in the three years before the COVID-19 outbreak in 2020.
He, however, insisted that “we can only do so if we forge ahead in unity and in faith, and have the believe that with the Almighty God, the fortunes of Ghana under the presidency of Akufo-Addo will be restored.”
“I will thus appeal to you to bear with government in this difficult period as we work to chart a path out of the storm. I know times are hard and are affecting all of us, but this government will not shirk its responsibility to the people of Ghana to make the hard decisions that hard times demand, which may be painful just like injections, but we must take them if we are to be well again and get our economy back.
“The policies we are implementing today are meant to address the challenges, and I am sure they will, but in the meantime, I need your active understanding and cooperation …we can make it if all of us work at it,” he emphasized.
The President lauded the contributions of the Presbyterian church to national development and thanked the church for its support towards the construction of the National Cathedral.
He stated that, upon completion, the National Cathedral would serve not only as the country’s collective thanksgiving “to the Almighty for the blessings He has bestowed on our nation, sparing us the ravages of civil war that have bedevilled the histories of virtually all our neighbours, and the outbreak of deadly mass epidemics, but also as a rallying point for the entire Christian Community of Ghana, which represents 70 per cent of the population.”
The President said although there were those who did not share his view in the building of the Cathedral, “I respect their right to differ, but I am confident in my decision and by the vast numbers of enthusiastic supporters of these projects, whose spiritual dimension is limitless.
He thus asked the Ga Presbytery, and all Christians, to continue to pray for Ghana’s peace and unity, so the nation can move forward in unity.
“I ask all of you to continue to pray for God’s peace and unity for Ghana so we can continue to move forward as a united nation.
“I need the support of every Ghanaian together with the prayers of the Church, to help me and my government carry out our mandate successfully…Pray for me so that the Almighty God will continue to give me wisdom, strength, courage, and compassion to enable me to execute my duties as a good leader. With Him all things are possible for the battle is the Lord’s,” he said.
The Moderator of the Presbyterian Church, Rt Rev Professor Joseph Obiri Yeboah Mante, expressed the appreciation of the Church for government’s effort at restoring economic stability