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Opinions of Friday, 25 February 2022

Columnist: Sylvester Asare

Who stole the keys from the IGP

Dr George Akuffo Dampare Dr George Akuffo Dampare

The Ghana Police Service; the foremost law enforcement agency in Ghana was established under the Ministry of the Interior, with a mandate to ensure crime prevention and detection, apprehension and prosecution of offenders, which is consistent with the expectations of Ghanaians for safe, secure and peaceful communities. The Inspector-General of Police (IGP), who is appointed by the President of Ghana in accordance with the Constitution holds the highest office in The Ghana Police Service. The Ghana Police Service is known for its regimentality, and demonstrates professionalism through vigilance, integrity, accountability, encouraging positive interaction with the public, to promote public safety and understanding, with Zero tolerance for crime and full commitment for human rights, whiles positioning itself to achieve key objectives like: the Protection of life and Property, Investigations, Apprehensions and Prosecutions amongst others.

During the 2016 political campaigns, there were copious agitations about the depletion of the Cedi against major global trading currencies. The debate on the comparative strength of the Cedi fast became a political armament and an ensuing campaign rhetoric, where feuding political parties made assertions on their willingness to stabilize the Cedi if voted to power.

On the 17th of April, 2017, Ghanaians were copiously elated, generously beaming with alluring optimism, when the Vice President; His Excellency Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia declared in a rather humorous manner (whilst delivering a 40-minute presentation, at a town hall meeting organized by Joy FM to assess the 100 days of President Akufo-Addo in office); to the full glee of the Ghanaian media that the free fall of the Cedi (which had preceded their assumption of office) had been arrested and locked-up, and the keys given to the Inspector General of Police (IGP) for safekeeping. The Vice President, who is also head of the Government’s Economic Management Team, was quoted as saying: “When we came in, it [cedi] was running, essentially we have arrested it [cedi], and the IGP has the keys, he’s locked it up, we want to make sure we pursue sound policies to keep the cedi stable.“ In spite of the hysterical nature of the pronouncement, people had a lot of optimism that the Cedi will not only be stable, but it will begin to increase in value against foreign trading currencies.

If keys to a locker is handed to the IGP for safekeeping, by no mean a person than the Vice President of such a strong nation like Ghana, one would expect stiff security for the ‘contents’ of the said locker. Invariably, the IGP, with over 30,000 police personnel at his disposal, would understandably be obligated to deploy enough of his men, to ensure that the keys to the locker which contained the free-fall of the Cedi was sufficiently protected. As it stands now, the Cedi has comparatively depreciated by a whopping: 59.9% against the US Dollar (Ghc 4.21 [April, 2017] – Ghc6.73 [24th February, 2022]), 70.4% against the British Pound (Ghc 5.30 [April, 2017] – Ghc9.03 [24th February, 2022]) & 67.7% against the Euro (Ghc 4.49 [April, 2017] – Ghc7.53 [24th February, 2022]). Source: (

Considering the current situation of our Ghanaian cedi, one is tempted to ask in a comical context;

who stole the keys from the IGP?

It is no doubt that these giant forex deficits, have had complex but tangible implications for Ghanaian businesses and the entire economy of Ghana, considering its effects on inflation, costs/standards of living, as well as life expectancy rates, (to mention but a few).

How can it be, that our precious Cedi is ‘acclaimed’ to be the Second worse performing currency in Africa (next to Zimbabwe)? Could it be, that the locker that housed the free-fall of the Cedi was broken-into, shortly after the Vice President’s declaration, short-of the IGP’s knowledge?

Economic scholars/experts may proffer explanations on the performance of the Cedi within the period under review(2017 – 2022), stating Ghana’s export ratios against imports et cetera et cetera, but, on a more serious note; Does the depreciation of the Cedi help the Government in its operations or implementation of policies in any way - Considering the duty-elements and taxes charged at the various ports of entry, for goods coming into the country, which are paid in Dollar equivalents? Beyond the capitalist-controlled systems, does the Government benefit from reduced costs of exports, with the anticipation that export quantities might increase? Does the depreciation of the Cedi support in plummeting our overseas debt burdens, by reducing the rates of interest paid on foreign loans?

These questions plead for objective answers, bereft of Politics & Prejudices.