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Cedi notes were not upgraded because of counterfeits-BoG

By Justice Kofi Bimpeh
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Upgraded Cedi notes

The Bank of Ghana, BoG says the security features on Ghana Cedi notes were not upgraded because of increasing counterfeiting.

The Bank of Ghana on Monday, May 6 begun the circulation of the upgraded Cedi notes with enhanced security features.

There have been reports that the 50 Cedis and other notes have been under attack from counterfeiters which forced the Central Bank to upgrade the notes.

But speaking to Joy FM, Head of Currency Management at the Bank of Ghana, John Gyamfi said the upgrade of the cedi notes is not because of counterfeiting.

"In the international currency world averagely every seven years countries are changing the entire family, ours is just an upgrade, we use the same international standards to monitor ours and we have a benchmark of hundred counterfeit notes....... in circulation as our benchmark that when we hit it then we have to introduce a whole new family or do a major upgrade, as we speak we are not even a fifth near the benchmark, we are under 20%."

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"It's a normal exercise we do periodically, two years, three years monitoring our stock and then as the currency goes and comes back to the Bank of Ghana and we process, we see that some are too weak, some are crumpled with holes in them, edges of the banknote tore off, those ones we've seen that if they stay in circulation our reputation is at stake so we on our own remove them, destroy them and then replace it," he added.

BoG advises

The Bank of Ghana, BoG, has advised Ghanaians not to rush in exchanging the existing Cedi notes for the upgraded banknotes that will be introduced on May 6, 2019.

Speaking to Citi FM on April 8 after the Bank of Ghana has served notice that it will introduce new banknotes with enhanced security features, Head of Communications at BoG, Esi Hammond said there is no need for Ghanaians to rush in exchanging the existing Cedi notes for the new ones because the two will be used simultaneously.

"They don't need to go and exchange existing ones for the new ones, they will all be going side by side none of it will be rejected."

Explaining further why the BoG is introducing the new Cedi notes, Esi Hammond added that it is a normal practice to fight counterfeits.

"In line with this practise and what is done elsewhere, you find out that about 7years there about countries will change their banknote, for example, if all their technological systems are changing then it means that the way they print notes are even different and we cannot stay back and we need to be able to get ahead and also in line with what is happening, it might end up being expensive for us if it stays the way it is, as for counterfeit, in every country it happens one way or the other, the extent may differ from country to country but that is not just that they are systems developed like ATMs and we have to note that banknotes going through ATMs can be detected if there are not good notes, for example, we want the serial numbers to be read well so we need to have the notes that are consistent with these changes."

Cost of printing

The Bank of Ghana, BoG says it is yet to determine the estimated cost of the upgraded Cedi notes that will be introduced on May 6.

Head of Communications at the Bank of Ghana, Esi Hammond in an interview with Joy FM said the cost of the exercise is yet to be determined.

“…I wouldn’t know that what I’m concerned about at the moment is to bring to you the fact that we are going to bring to you something more durable that meets best practices at the moment. I don’t know how much it’s going to cost but in line with what we do we have to make sure we are giving you good notes in line with our good or clean note policy.”

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