- some schools still charge in dollars despite directive
In order to sustain and protect investor’s cash flow in the real estate sector, the Ghana Real Estate Developers Association (GREDA) has said it will adopt strategies to hedge the prices of homes in response to the latest move by the Bank of Ghana (BoG) to deter the association’s members – and all other economic operators – from pricing their products in foreign currencies.
GREDA was reacting to the Central Bank’s directive to all institutions carrying out transactions in foreign currency to stop and operate only in the cedi.
The instruction states that all transactions in the country are required to be conducted in the Ghana cedi, which is the sole legal tender to be used for transactions and even product pricing in the country.
The directive is one of several immediate measures by the BoG aimed at arresting the free fall of the cedi against the world’s major currencies particularly the dollar.
GREDA’s Executive Secretary, Samuel Amegayibor told the Goldstreet Business: “what we do is to index our prices to the dollar to ensure that it reflects in its equivalence. We are only being careful and pragmatic.”
He indicated that although most of the association’s members intended to go by the BoG directive, all pricing of homes and residential properties have been indexed to the dollar.
Indexing the cedi to the dollar will however, not affect the prices of homes as they will always remain same.
Mr. Amegayibor, suggested the BoG enforce the law across board to capture some key state institutions as well.
“Government must not target certain sectors in its bid to enforce the dollarization rule. The law must be enforced across board so that some sectors don’t feel targeted” he said.
Indeed, some private schools are still charging fees in dollars, in contravention of the directive.
The Lincoln Community School, Liberty American School (LAS), the Ghana International School (GIS), the Ecole Francaise Jacques Prevert and the Galaxy International School, all in Accra, continue to charge their fees in dollars.
Checks from Lincoln Community School’s website for fees for the 2019/20 academic year include a non-refundable registration of US$1,500 and US$6,500 for new students going to pre-kindergarten and those from kindergarten to Grade 12, respectively.
Annual tuition fees from pre-kindergarten to Grade 12 also range from US$14,788 to US$25,761.
The school also bills all students a non-refundable maintenance fee of US$2000 for the academic year, without indexing, which implies, all fees are actually payable in dollars, although in practice the cedi equivalent is acceptable too.
By Wisdom Jonny-Nuekpe