22.12.2007 Editorial

Countdown To Old Cedis’ Deadline

By Daily Guide
Countdown To Old Cedis’ Deadline
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ELEVEN DAYS from now the country's currency, cedis and pesewas will no longer be legal tender as they would be replaced by the new Ghana cedis and pesewas.

Currently a lot of Ghanaians are uncertain as to whether the old currency could be mopped up before the deadline of January 1, 2008.

In fact, the Governor of the Bank of Ghana, Dr. Paul Acquah has made it quite clear that the redenomination exercise would not be extended beyond the January 1 deadline.

We have to give credit to the Bank of Ghana for mopping up almost 95 per cent of the old cedis.

It is a fact that Ghanaians love to do things at the last moment and if care is not taken the attitude would burden our banks, forcing them to shift their attention from their traditional duty of serving their real customers.

It is in this vein that a suggestion made in an Accra daily by one Opanyin Ofei Kwasi Mantey that to avoid problems at the last moment the Bank of Ghana should erect kiosks or booths at vantage points now to collect the old currencies in the system should be given a thought.

That is, those having the currencies, whether in bigger or smaller denominations, could just walk in to these kiosks and change their old monies for new ones.

Though it may be at an extra cost to the Bank of Ghana, the suggestion should be seriously considered as it may ease the burden that would be on banks from January next year.

Apart from that, is the Bank of Ghana thinking about our kith and kin in the villages, where there are no banks and some have to walk miles to even go and buy kerosene or salt?

The issue of the villagers should be a tall order for the Bank of Ghana and even if it argues that there are enough banks in the cities to meet the demands of the populace, what measures has it put in place to serve our own people in the remotest villages and hamlets?

It is in this vein that the suggestion of the writer in the Accra daily should be taken very seriously and implemented in our villages as early as possible.

The idea of mounting these kiosks should not be seen as a laughing issue or an Utopian dream.

It would be feasible if well planned and would not only save the country man-hours in terms of absenteeism on the part of workers, who would be trooping to banks during official hours to change their old currencies, but also make the work of the Bank of Ghana very easy for it to achieve the 100 per cent goal of mopping up the old currency.

Currently, some people are refusing to accept the old currency as change and this is creating brawls at the market places, in trotros and buses. This is bad and it shows that no arrangements had been made for the last days of the old currency.

Thus, the idea of the booths or kiosks should be welcomed as it could save a lot of people inconveniences, even before the deadline of the redenomination.

DAILY GUIDE hopes the Bank of Ghana would give serious consideration to the suggestion.

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