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The Minister for Monitoring and Evaluation, Dr Anthony Akoto Osei, has charged the Bank of Ghana (BoG) to make public, the cost of printing the new GHS 100 and GHS 200 banknotes.
The Governor of the central bank announced the introduction of the new notes at a press conference in Accra on Friday, 29 November 2019 with the explanation that the move is aimed at addressing the deadweight burden on the economy from past inflation and cedi depreciation.
Many critics have sought answers from the central bank about the volume of the new currencies and the cost of printing them.
Dr Akoto Osei said the “Bank of Ghana is not independent of Ghanaians” butt accountable to the citizenry, hence, must provide the information requested.
He stated: “These are legitimate questions to ask…printing is usually done outside [the country] and, so, they should be able to tell us how much it is going to cost and how much they are going to save. I don’t think it is a bad question. Everybody should be able to ask the Bank of Ghana the cost of it, it shouldn’t be a secret”.
He shares a similar view with the Chairman of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) of Parliament, Mr James Klutse Avedzi, who has criticised the BoG for withholding that information.
“In printing new notes, you are not replacing existing notes. Once you are printing new notes, first of all, we need to know how much you are printing. It is an addition to what is circulating in the system… Secondly, what is the cost of printing?” he questioned, after the announcement of the new high-value notes.
It is common practice for countries to print banknotes overseas due to the cost and complexity of the currencies. Several countries across the globe outsource the job to private banknote manufacturing companies in the absence of a national mint due to specialist technology and security credibility.
Some of the biggest banknote producers are Britain’s De La Rue plc and German company Giesecke & Devrient. Canadian Banknote Company and US and Sweden-based Crane Currency are some other well-established suppliers of secure, durable and well-designed banknotes for central banks across the world.