By John Ankromah
Oil service providers registered in Ghana are having a series of conversations with the Bank Of Ghana over non-dollarisation of the industry. The Ghana Oil and Gas Service Providers Association(GOGSPA) says that its members’ businesses are most affected by the revamp of the Bank of Ghana Notice Number “BG/GOV/SEC/2012/12”, which compels the International Oil Companies in the country to pay for services in Ghana in local currency. “The oil industry is global”, says Kamil Muhammed, president of GOGSPA, “so the tariffs are in US Dollars” In February 2014, the BoG directed that all transactions in the country should be conducted in Ghana cedis in compliance with Bank of Ghana Notice dated October 10, 2012. The bank said it had revised rules governing the operations of Foreign Exchange Accounts (FEA) and Foreign Currency Accounts (FCA) with effect from February 5, 2014.
Muhammed says that the BoG granted some exemptions after the services providers association petitioned it, “but later revoked those exemptions due to the rate of depreciation of the cedi”. The bank is currently reviewing some of those directives. “It was a panic response to the challenges the local currency was going through which had unintended consequences for the oil and gas industry”, he explains.