Traders, drivers rejecting upgraded cedi notes?

Some traders and commercial drivers are rejecting the newly upgraded cedi notes released by the Bank of Ghana (BoG) on May 6, due to the fear of counterfeits.

They claimed they were not aware of the circulation of the security enhanced notes, a situation some individuals blamed on poor publicity.

The Central Bank, in a statement issued last month, stated that the upgraded banknotes would have enhanced security features in line with evolving changes in technological landscape, adding, that, both the new notes and existing series of banknotes will co-circulate.

The Ghanaian Times visited some areas in Accra and Kasoa to interact with some commercial drivers and traders in an effort to find out how they have received the new banknotes.

Mrs Enyonam Azaglo, a vegetable vendor at the Kasoa market told the Ghanaian Times that she was not aware of the release of the new banknotes and so she is not accepting it for the fear of accepting forged money.

She said, the only time she would begin to accept the notes were when the circulation becomes undisputable and she had studied the added features carefully.

“I cannot accept any other note apart from the one I am familiar with, at least not now. I do not make much profit on what I sell, so I can never take such a risk. Someone can easily bring a counterfeit of what is being circulated at the moment and if care is not taken, I might run at a loss so for now, I want to tread cautiously,” she added.

A 28 -year-old commercial driver, Andrews Nsiah, also stated that, he had warned his conductor (trotro mate) not to start accepting the new banknotes circulating now, after a passenger attempted to pay her fare with a GH¢10.00 note with the new features.

He explained that a fight ensued between the two and he asked the passenger to drop off, after she refused to pay with the note they were familiar with.

I make a daily sale of GH¢150.00 to the owner of the vehicle, so I cannot accept any money I am not sure of,” Mr Nsiah said.

Mr Michael Asante, a taxi driver said he had met two different clients who attempted to pay for his services with the new GH¢50.00 notes but he humbly declined.

Another bus conductor, who preferred to be known as Kyere, told the Ghanaian Times that so far he had rejected the new banknotes from three passengers, saying, he was not yet ready to accept the notes due to reasons he did not disclose.

A plantain chips seller, at the Kasoa toll booth area, indicated that she mistakenly took one upgraded GH¢10.00 note from a customer on Friday and had since become more vigilant so that she doesn’t repeat such a “mistake”.

When asked whether she had not heard about the circulation of the new security enhanced banknotes by the BoG, she replied in the negative.

BY RAISSA SAMBOU                   

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