The Bank of Ghana (BoG) has introduced new higher denomination cedi banknotes and coins onto the market to facilitate business transactions.
The new denominations, according to the BoG are meant to relief people and organisations of carrying huge sums of money to the bank or for business transactions
The new security-enhanced currencies embedded with new symbols, are in GH¢100 and GH¢200 denominations and a GH¢2 coin, which would be used alongside the existing notes, will be put into circulation by the BoG next week.
Among other features, the new GH¢200 note has portraits of the Big Six in front, the National Sword on the left side of the currency and the ‘Gye Nyame’ symbol literally meaning ‘Only God’ on the left and the picture of the Jubilee House, the seat of government on the reverse.
The new GH¢100 note has the portraits of the Big Six and the mace of Parliament in front and the picture of Parliament at the reverse, while the new 10-sided GH¢2 coin has the Coat of Arm in front and Jubilee House at the back.
Speaking at the programme for the introduction of the new higher denomination banknotes and coins into circulation, the Governor of the BoG, Dr Ernest Addison, said the introduction of the new notes was to complement the existing notes to ensure customer convenience and bring about efficiency in the printing of currency to generate savings for the country.
The new notes, the Governor said formed part of the periodic review of the structure of the currency to ensure they were aligned with macroeconomic conditions and demand.
Dr Addison said international best practices required monetary authorities to review their currency regimes at intervals of between five and 10 years.
He explained that high levels of inflation and currency depreciation in the past have eroded, in real terms, the face value of the series of the notes, hence the need for the new notes.
“A lot of thinking went into the decision to introduce the higher-denomination banknotes. The structure of the banknote should align well with the needs of the people who use it for their daily transactions. We need bank notes and coins that are convenient for most people to use, high quality, secure and cost effective,” the Governor said.
The Governor said the BoG in March 2017 begun the move to introduce the new currency and subsequently a review was done on the structure of the currency and a nationwide survey with market operatives, businesses and international stakeholders before the introduction of the new currency.
“The outcome of these exercise revealed the resurgence of deadweight burden issues on the economy due to past significant inflation and perennial depreciation of the currency, significant increase in the demand for higher denomination banknote and increased cost of printing,” he said.
Dr Addison said the introduction of the new notes should not be misinterpreted to mean a shift away from the BoG’s policy of pursuing a cashless society and promoting the use of electronic modes of payments.
Dr Addison entreated the public to properly handle the banknotes and keep it clean at all times, saying that the BoG would embark on a nationwide campaign to educate the general public on the new denominations.
Quizzed about the concerns that the new denomination would lead to higher inflation, the BoG responded in the negative and said the higher denomination was introduced to only ease high transaction volumes and replace some of the large cash transactions done with the existing GH¢50 and GH¢20 banknotes.
By Kingsley Asare