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08.11.2007 Author

The Expenses Are Worth It

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On paper, the $66.2 million spent on the redenomination exercise including the education of the people is on the high side, but looking at the huge benefits that the exercise would bring to Ghanaians, we say the expenses are worth it.

What is worth doing could be started badly. If between 2003 and 2006 the Bank of Ghana (BOG) spent as much as $94.2 million to replace and top-up the country's existing stock of currency, then the amount spent on printing, minting and education should not be a matter to drag.

As at now, the people have seen the difference between the old and new cedis as well as the benefits of the redenomination. If nothing at all, the new currencies are easier to handle, lighter to carry and above all, they are designed to take care of financial bottlenecks.

In a nutshell, the exercise is a remarkable improvement on the old system. At a time when the national economy is moving in the right direction, it is very important for prudent financial policies to be adopted to keep the economy running smoothly.

However, there is room for improvement in every human endeavour. No situation must be left static, otherwise it would be overtaken by events.

For example, the people's call for the Bank of Ghana to print a GH¢2 denomination in addition to the others is worth listening to. Indeed, such a new denomination would fill an important gap in the current denomination system.

Others are suggesting that the quality of the GH¢1 should be improved since the present quality is not the best. People are complaining that whenever the notes become wet they stain the dress of the holder.

Similarly, some of the people are not happy with the sizes of the cedi coins, alleging that whenever they drop on the ground, especially at night, they could be difficult to find.

Those complaints must be taken care of and where necessary, changes effected. In any case, the currency is for all Ghanaians. What somebody might not be happy with, the other person might welcome it.

Perhaps, after the complete withdrawal of the old currency the people would have the opportunity to appreciate or disapprove the new currency.

Now that the people know the amount spent on the printing of the new notes they must handle them with care in order to maintain their quality and save the country from spending more money in printing new ones.

For this reason the education must not end with the withdrawal of the old currency. It must continue at all public places.

The fact that some criminals who attempted to smuggle counterfeit notes into the country were arrested does not mean there are no more criminals in our midst. Many more could be there, only waiting for an opportunity to strike. The people must therefore be alert to smoke out such criminals.

DAILY GUIDE commends the Bank of Ghana for managing the redenomination exercise so well to this point and urges it to continue the good work it is doing for the country.