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General News of Saturday, 30 March 2019

Source: yen.com.gh

Churches are partly to blame for cedi fall - Dr Frimpong

The depreciation of the Ghana cedi against its major trading currencies is being blamed, at least in part, on churches and how they mange their finances.

A senior economic advisor to the vice-president of Ghana, Dr. Samuel Kwadwo Frimpong, is blaming the cedi's current weakness against major trading currencies, at least in part, on the financial decisions by churches in Ghana.

Dr Frimpong, in a report YEN.com.gh sighted on Starrfm.com.gh, alleged that most churches in Ghana convert their income (from religious offertories) into dollars, and then transfer the dollar value amounts into foreign exchange accounts.

The vice-president's economic advisor noted that a careful analysis of the cedi's performances on Mondays and Tuesdays shows the currency depreciating marginally, a phenomenon he links churches doing foreign exchange business after Sunday services.

In an interview with with freelancer Odame Agyare for a show yet to be premiered, Dr Frimpong said: “Many churches in Ghana do not have their head offices here.

So their collections, offerings and tithes are changed into dollars and transferred into forex accounts."

“Recently, we have studied and noticed that on Mondays and Tuesdays, the rate at which the cedi is changed into dollars rises. As a Christian and an economist, I think it is also a contributory factor."

He was, however, optimistic measures rolled out to strengthen the Cedi against the Dollar will yield positive results.

The argument put forward by Dr Frimpong may seem far-fetched to the ordinary Ghanaian whose most pressing concern is a matter of bread and butter.

But in a country which is littered, quite literally, with churches, it is difficult to say that the collective financial decisions taken by these churches do not affect the overall performance of the currency.