By Abdul Rahman Suagibu-
NEW AFRICA BUSINESS NEWS, Ganta, Nimba County, Liberia – The bordering city of Ganta; in Nimba County has now become a place where Guinean nationals are flocking from across the Money Exchangers at Ganta-Guinea Border to purchase the United States Dollars.
Because of their constant presence in Ganta, the “formal” exchange rate in that city stands to be the highest in the country. One US dollar is currently being exchanged for 180 Liberian dollars.
In spite of the above rate, there are reports that illegal transactions of the U S dollars have recorded higher rates than the street boards.
At the moment in Monrovia, the rate has now reached to 173 Liberian dollars to one US dollars.
Precisely, the steadily hike in the exchange rate in that bustling commercial city of Ganta is not noticed. And it is still having serious peril on ordinary residents of the city of Ganta.
Local business owners and other Liberians, including taxi motorists; have expressed their dismay in the continued hike exchange rate.
New Africa Business News was informed that Guinean Fulanis are the primary foreign nationals that are flooding into Ganta from Guinea on a daily bases in search of the US currency, which is a legal currency in Liberia.
The head for the Association of Ganta Foreign Exchanger Union- Napoleon Dean, confirmed the continued hike of the exchange rate.
Dean accused Guinean businessmen, whom he said are the ones coming in their numbers to buy at higher rates the US dollars. According to him, these Guineans crossover into Liberia and transact their businesses and when they have obtained the Liberian dollar, use it to purchase at a very higher rate the US dollars and take it back with them to Guinea.
The head of the Ganta forex union also blamed the city’s business community for the increase of the US rate in the city.
Ganta business people that spoke with New Africa Business News correspondent, explained that due to the high rate; they have bent on up the price of their goods to the rate of the day.
Ms. Justina Yormie, owner of Justina Bar and Restaurant, said the continued hike is effecting her business adversely.
Ms. Yormie noted that if nothing is done to situate the rate, things might increase continually and will have the tendencies to go out of control and the rate might reach 200 Liberian dollars to one US dollar.
She is urging the government to work towards decreasing the exchange.
“As long as the exchange rate keeps getting higher, the prices of basic commodities will keep increasing,” she added.
She also confirmed what Dean had said about the constant presence of Guineans; adding: “They are the ones increasing the high rate in the city.”
Another businessman, Bob Rennie Sackie, manager of West Africa and Savina-Giant Step, told FPA those of them selling fish are forced to get the US dollars at high rates.
Sackie termed the act as “very bad” for them.
“For us, we buy in US dollars. We are forced to search for the US dollars,” he added.
He, too, called on the President’s Economic Management Team to quickly intervene in the process.
Several fish sellers, who spoke with this medium, told of how they now spend more to buy their goods from the cold storage. “We used to spend L$3,000 now we are buying at L$5,000 per cartoon,” Kou Suah, a local fish retailer, stated.
Also in Karnplay, a city, which is on the border with La Cote d’Ivoire, Victoria Sehkar of ZLANKERSEH MERCHANDISE, also spoke of the pinch business people in that part of Nimba feel as a result of the same high exchange rate.
For New Africa Business News Abdul Rahman Suagibu Reports, Africa Correspondent.