The President of the Ghana Union of Traders Association (GUTA), Dr Joseph Obeng, has predicted that this year’s Christmas festivities will be affected by the prevailing economic difficulties in the country.
According to him, the lack of money in the system will affect the purchasing power of consumers as well as the regular activities of traders.
Speaking in an interview with Emefa Apawu on Joy FM on Monday, he explained that the situation is due to the depreciation of the Ghana Cedi, especially in relation to the US dollar.
“[The situation] is affecting us badly. It’s so negative on our businesses to the extent that we cannot even do the volumes that we normally do for Christmas because our capital has already dwindled, it has been so depleted that we cannot do the same volumes.
“Our businesses are collapsing so Christmas as you mentioned, will not be the same as the previous Christmas because the money is simply not there”, he said.
Dr Obeng made these remarks in the wake of recent agitations by traders across the country.
Following the agitations, some traders in Kumasi have reportedly closed down their shops to register their displeasure with the hardship of the country, and the inability of government to address the situation.
Meanwhile, the Ghana Union of Traders Association (GUTA), is also calling on government to as a matter of urgency, peg the dollar for the purpose of duty payments.
GUTA says the pegging should be done at least quarterly to mitigate the plight of the business community.
In a statement last week, the association said the Bank of Ghana’s weekly exchange rate quoted by the Customs Division of the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) has seen a sharp rise from ¢8.2 to ¢9.5, thereby shooting up duty charges at the ports to about 30%.
Presently, the dollar has hit the ¢11 to $1 mark with some forex bureaus in parts of Accra selling a dollar at an average of ¢11.2 on Saturday, October 8, 2022.
Checks by Joy Business indicate that the demand for the dollar keeps surging, as there are very few dollars in circulation.
Some forex bureau operators who spoke to Joy Business on condition of anonymity said the recent interventions by the Bank of Ghana have yielded little return.
According to them, there are no dollars in circulation.