The 2020 flagbearer of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) has criticised government over the introduction of new cedi denominations into the financial system.
Former President John Mahama believes the move by the Bank of Ghana (BoG) defeats government’s much-touted agenda to transform the economy into a cashless one.
Speaking at the 38th Anniversary celebration of the 31st December Revolution at Winneba on Tuesday, the former President questioned the rationale behind the development.
“You cannot understand what reason in hell would make any government thinking logically do something like that. You want to make it easier for people to carry huge sums of cash when we say we are building a cashless society,” Mr Mahama said.
The central bank in November 2019, introduced ¢100, ¢200 notes as well as a ¢2 coin as part of the country’s denominations, a development it believes will ensure customer convenience, reduce high transaction and printing cost as well as currency management.
Government last week announced its readiness to soon swap the cedi for the new single ECOWAS common currency, the Eco when trading within the ECOWAS region.
Ghana believes the adoption of a single currency market will help remove trade and monetary barriers, reduce transaction costs, boost economic activities and also raise living standards.
But, the former President says the timing of the rollout of the new notes opens itself up for more questions.
Mr Mahama decried the lack of sensitisation for the concerns of the public, describing the mode of implementation as an ambush.
“Even the system for introducing new notes was not gone through. The public was ambushed. One day we just got up and they said they are introducing new notes. No public sensitisation, the banks received no notification…Somebody takes it to a shop and they say we don’t know about these notes,” the said.
“Is it because somebody just prints the notes so that he gets his kickback or agent fees or something. Because otherwise, it doesn’t make logical sense”, Mr Mahama added.