PThe Bank of Ghana, (BoG), has made it clear that the current banknotes in circulation were not upgraded because they are being counterfeited.
The Head of Currency Management of the bank, Mr John Gyamfi, told the media that the current level of counterfeiting of the banknotes, has not crossed the BoG’s benchmark.
“Not even a fifth of the benchmark. We are under the 20 per cent mark of the issued bank notes,” he explained.
Despite this explanation from the BoG, there are reports (See page 17 of yesterday’s issue) that some traders and drivers in different parts of Accra and Kasoa, are rejecting the upgraded banknotes for fear of counterfeits.
They claimed that they were not aware of the circulation of the upgraded notes and fear that they may lose their money.
Many of the traders and commercial drivers expressed the fear that some unscrupulous people may take advantage of the situation and therefore, would not risk accepting the new notes.
They said they would rather err on the side of caution, rather than accept the upgraded notes which are unfamiliar to them.
It is unfortunate that some members of the public are rejecting the upgraded banknotes introduced by the BoG last month.
According to the bank, the upgraded banknotes have enhanced security features in line with evolving changes in the technological landscape.
It said the new enhanced security features are an optically variable magnetic image, a new enhanced security thread, a more prominent watermark and an enhanced iridescent band at the back of the banknote.
Although this might appear a good enough explanation, there may be a few skeptics around who may be fuelling the misconception among the gullible members of the public.
The Ghanaian Times does not believe that the rejection is widespread but the fact that few people are rejecting the upgraded banknotes calls for further public education on the roll out of the new notes.
As a matter of fact, those who are rejecting the new notes claimed not to have any knowledge about the circulation of the new notes.
We recognise that advertisements are running in the both print and electronic media but many people may not be aware.
We, therefore, call on the BoG to intensify its public education in markets, lorry parks, hospitals and various other places for the benefit of all the people.
It is in the interest of BoG as well as the country that the new notes are generally accepted as a medium of financial exchange for goods and services.
A lot of time and effort have already been inverted in putting the new notes into circulation and we expect that everyone living in Ghana would embrace it and use it for its intended purpose.L