Ghana records 250 per cent cedi depreciation in eight years

The Trades Union Congress (TUC), says Ghana has recorded 250 per cent depreciation in the cedi in the past eight years coupled with over 25 per cent inflation resulting in huge decline in the living standards of citizens. Mrs Phyllis Agyemang, the Eastern Regional Secretary of the TUC, said in a speech by the Organised Labour, that the decline was mainly due to Ghana's over-dependence on imported goods whose prices were directly influenced by foreign currencies. 'The exchange rate of the cedi is now almost GHS14 to one US dollar compared to about GHS4 in 2016. That means workers who earned a monthly salary of GhS1,000 in 2016 took home the equivalent of US$250. Today, GHS1000 is only US$71,' she said. Mrs Agyemang was addressing over 800 workers representing about 20 organisations in the Eastern Region who converged in Koforidua to celebrate Labour Day. The celebration was on the theme: 'Election 2024: The Role of Workers and Social Partners in Securing Peaceful Elections for National Development'. Mrs Agyemang observed that most workers depended on loans to cater for some basic needs like house rent and school fees among others, however, the interest required to be paid was over 30 per cent as the informal sector charged up to 50 percent interest. She said with the current economic distress of the country and the relatively high wages, what the TUC negotiated for workers in the last two years had lost their real value. Therefore, the only thing Ghana had left, Mrs Agyemang mentioned was peace which was priceless and must be protected at all costs from political gimmicks. 'At least we are enjoying relative peace compared to other countries in the sub-region. The peace we are enjoying is priceless and so we should never allow partisan politics to destroy it,' she said. Mrs Agyemang appealed to the government to rectify the challenges causing the frequent power outages which were destroying people's property in the country. She said it was regrettable that Ghanaians must experience 'dumsor' again after a ll they had gone through in the past and pleaded with the authorities to do something quickly to resolve the problem. Source: Ghana News Agency