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27.12.2007 Business & Finance

Non-account holders in Ho in a fix over old cedis

Non-account holders in Ho in a fix over old cedis

Some Banks in Ho were allegedly turning away super market operators who called there to change old cedis for the new Ghana cedis unless they have accounts with those banks.

Madam Jane Addo, owner of "Chop-Better", a popular Super Market in town specifically mentioned the National Investment Bank (NIB) as one of the banks, which have set that condition.

"The banks don't collect our old notes unless you are a customer or they ask you to pay into somebody else's account to withdraw later," she said.

Madam Addo said she could not turn away those who brought in the old cedis and therefore had a lot of the old currencies in her custody, which she intended to use in purchasing her goods from her wholesale business partners in Accra.

Mr Ransford Odenkey Abbey, Volta Regional Manager of the National Investment Bank told the Ghana News Agency that the grace period for exchanging the old cedi notes for the new Ghana cedi whether one had an account or not had elapsed and that all old cedi notes had to be paid into an account before it could be changed.

The Managers of the Ho branches of SG-SSB and Barclays Banks respectively told the GNA that their banks had set no conditions for taking in the old notes from the public.

Mr. Stephen Mensah, an Official of the Hohoe branch of the Bank of Ghana however, told the GNA that it was wrong for any bank to set conditions for receiving the old notes from the public.

"I will contact the banks concerned", Mr Mensah said.

At the Stadium Gate Shopping Centre, Mr Michael Martin told the GNA that they would take all the old notes to the banks at the end of December 2007 for new ones.

Barely five days more for the old Cedi to cease being legal tender there appears to be no rush among the general public to change that cedi for the new Ghana Cedis and Ghana Pesewas in Ho.

Many shoppers are using the old currencies to buy wares from the Super Markets and fuel retail stations, which are to serve as the conduits for mopping the old currencies from the system.

Taxi drivers are also receiving old currencies in payment for fares, but some of them insist on giving out change in the old cedis and pesewas.

Currency dealers across the border in Lome, the Republic of Togo are said to be refusing the old cedis because their clients were insisting on getting the new cedis in exchange for other currencies.

"We are in Togo, and cannot cross over to the banks daily to change the old notes and coins for the new ones so we don't accept them," Atsu Helou, told the Ghana News Agency (GNA).

Forex Bureaux in Aflao were receiving the old currencies in exchange for the new ones since, "we go to bank daily to pay in the old one and have no problem", said an attendant who pleaded anonymity.

Some individuals also alleged that some traders turned them away when they went to buy goods with the old cedis and were therefore confused as to what was happening.

They therefore appealed to Bank of Ghana to intervene to make a smooth transition from the old currency to the new one.

Meanwhile, Mr. Joseph Sunu, Supervising Manager of the Unity Rural Bank at Ziope near Ho told the GNA that the bank was accepting the old notes from the public as directed by the Bank of Ghana without any conditions.

He said the Bank has caused gong-gong to be beaten in its operational area to remind the public of the December 31 deadline when the old cedi currencies would cease to be legal tender and the need to change the old cedi notes and coins exchanged for the new ones.