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Business News of Monday, 25 February 2008

Source: GNA

Banker denies claims that cedi coins in short supply

Koforidua, Feb. 25, GNA - Mr John Teye-Doku, Eastern Regional Manager of the Ghana Commercial Bank, has denied claims by a section of market women that the new Ghana cedi coins were in short supply. He said the Bank of Ghana (BoG) was concerned with price hikes during the initial stages of the redenomination exercise and therefore rectified the situation by releasing more coins, especially the lower denominations into the system.

Mr Teye-Doku was speaking in an interview with the Ghana News Agency (GNA) in Koforidua on Monday to respond to claims by market women in the New Juaben Municipality that they were compelled to increase the prices of their goods because they could not get lower denominations of the new Ghana cedi to facilitate easy business transaction with their customers.

He said the claim by the women was false, adding that the banks had been issuing coins in the various denominations including the one pesewa each day.

Mr Teye-Doku pointed out that the market women were creating the situation themselves to enable them to hike the prices, saying, "all the banks in the Region were supplied with coins by the Ghana Commercial Bank, which acted on behalf of the Central Bank in the area to serve the public".

Based on public complaints, the GNA conducted a market survey and found out that the prices of some goods like the black polythene bag had shot up from three pesewa to five pesewa with the excuse that there were no pesewa coins to give out as change.

Other food items that had their prices increased for the same reason include sachet water and boiled eggs.

Earlier this year, GNA reported that prices of some goods had been increased in the municipality due to insufficient coins in the system, prompting the BoG to send a team to the area to study the situation. Even though the situation had been rectified and the banks had created booths for changing coins each morning, people were still using the same reason to increase prices of their goods. 25 Feb. 08