The Western Regional Director of the National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE), Kwaku Baa Owusu has said that the re-denomination of the cedi is consistent with the reforms envisaged under the West Africa Monetary Zone (WAMZ) programme.
He was speaking at a public forum on the re-denomination of the cedi organized by the Shama-Ahanta East Metropolitan Office of NCCE at Asemasa near Takoradi.
Mr. Owusu said the efficiency gains from the re-denomination exercise would make the country a stronger partner in the WAMZ.
He said, "December 2009 is the target date for locking-in into a single currency irrevocably in the WAMZ".
Mr. Owusu said, "During the intervening period and until the WAMZ currency, the ECO, is issued into circulation, it is important for each member country to take the necessary step to raise its economic performance".
He said there is no deadline for the exchange of the old currency for new ones at the Bank of Ghana and Commercial, Community and Rural Banks.
Mr. Owusu said people who already have account at the banks need not withdraw them to exchange because after July this year, they would be given Ghana Cedi and Ghana Pesewa whenever they withdrew money.
He advised the people to open accounts at the banks to facilitate the re-denomination exercise which is designed to address inflation and macroeconomic instability.
Mr. Owusu said, "The legacy of high inflation has resulted in increases in the numerical values of prices as well as foreign exchange in local currency".
He said the NCCE and the Bank of Ghana have launched an educational programme on the re-denomination exercise.
A senior field officer at the Shama-Ahanta East Office of NCCE,John Alexander Nkrumah, said the old currency increased difficulties in maintaining bookkeeping and statistical records.
He said it is also incompatible with data processing software and puts strain on payment system particularly the use of ATM.
Mr. Nkrumah said the new currency would reduce cost and overall risks in transaction volume and re-introduce the culture of using coins in the country.
He said the new currency would also result in significant gains in the cost of banknote production.
Mr. Nkrumah said the conversion of 5000 cedis and below into coins would increase the efficiency of banknote processing systems and improve the overall quality of banknotes in circulation.