(JollofNews- President Yahya Jammeh of the Gambia Thursday issued a presidential decree lifting the restriction of foreign exchange rate in the country.
The restrictions were unilaterally imposed last May by Mr Jammeh to stop the rapid depreciation of the local currency, Dalasi, against major international currencies particularly the US Dollar.
The decision was however criticised by economists and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) which described them as counter productive and harmful to the Gambian economy.
But in a surprised announcement, Mr Jammeh said he has decided to lift the restrictions after the ‘stabilisation of the exchange rate and the positive impact’ it has in the pricing of goods and services in the country.
“The decision to intervene in the foreign exchange market was meant to correct certain distortions and market failures that resulted in the continued depreciation of the value of the dalasi against foreign currency,” Mr Jammeh said in a statement read on state television, GRTS.
“The government of the Gambia wishes to reiterate its commitment to the free market system and will continue to promote and encourage honest private sector participation and contribution of all sectors of the economy.”
The president warned those involved in currency hoarding to desist from the practice, if they do not wish the full force of the law to be unleashed on them.
He said such financial improprieties will undermine endangers the country’s economy.