The Ghana Union of Traders Association (GUTA) says they have never thrown their support behind the activities of black market operators in the country as being peddled in some sections of the media.
They argue that they have been at the forefront of advocating for the Bank of Ghana to clamp down on the activities of black market operators in order to arrest the situation.
There are news publications circulating widely that GUTA says it will resist any attempt by government to ban the activities of black market operators in the country because their work compliments forex bureau operations and help their businesses when they need forex to trade.
But speaking to BestNewsGH.com, President for GUTA Dr Joseph Obeng said his outfit has long been calling on the bank of Ghana to check the black market operators and rid them out of the system because they are not regulated and are engaged in illegal business activities.
According to the GUTA president, a clear distinction should be drawn between the forex bureau operators who are lincensed and operating legally and the black market (Alhaji Alhaji) people who hide in corners to operate under no laws and supervision.
Their activities according to him, can partly been blamed for the depreciation of the cedi as most of them hoard the currencies and sell it at higher rates to businesses in and out of the country.
On the issue of the activities of forex bureau operators, Dr Joseph Obeng said forex bureaus are legitimate and their operations help to ease the stress businesses have to go through in accessing forex from the mainstream banks.
‘’What we have to do is to evaluate the operations of the forex bureaus and then enhance on it, if they are falling short in some areas then we tighten it so that they will be in line’’ he said.
Dr Joseph Obeng’s comments on the black market operators vis a vis the forex bureau operators came about as a result of the quest to find a lasting solution to the continuous depreciation of the cedi against major trading currencies.
Earlier, the Finance Minister Ken Ofori Atta had hinted that government was considering making the use of Identification Cards as a requirement in the exchange of money at the forex bureaux in the country as part of measures to address the continuous depreciation of the cedi .