A field officer of the National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE), Mr. Joseph Nikoi, has advised Ghanaians not to rush to change their cedis into US dollars when the re-denomination begins in July.
He said the value of the existing cedi would be at par with the new Ghana Cedi so there was no need to change the currency for other ones since it does not make any difference.
Mr. Nikoi gave the advice at the launch of a series of public forums being organized by the NCCE for selected communities in the Takoradi Sub-Metropolis of Shama Ahanta East Assembly at New Takoradi.
Communities to benefit are New Takoradi, Air force-Kokompe-Princess Area, Old Adra-Galmour and Amanful East. Also targeted were 12 selected groups and associations including hairdressers and beauticians, market women, second hand shoe dealers, members of the Ghana Private Road Transport Union (GPRTU) and some religious groups.
Mr. Nikoi said the new currency would have the 50 cedis note as the highest denomination while the least would be one pesewa. He assured the people that there was no need to rush to change their old cedi notes since both would be legal tenders until January 1, 2008 when the old currencies would be withdrawn.
Mr. Nikoi advised the traders not to withdraw their bank deposits to change since the banks would handle that and credit them appropriately.
He said Ghanaians must be vigilant and report all middlemen who claim to be agents of the Bank of Ghana (BOG) assigned to assist them in changing their old currencies. Mr. Nikoi stressed that the use of pesewa coins would be a major feature of the new currency and urged all Ghanaians to be conversant with its usage.
Ms. Vida Asheley Amanor, a staff of the commission said Ghanaians must ensure that the currency was handled properly.
She said haphazard folding, soiling, and writing on as well as crumpling of the new cedi notes would be an offence.
"We need to protect and preserve the lifespan of the new currency to reduce the burden of multiple printing," she added.