Ever since the Bank of Ghana (BoG) issued the first Ghanaian coins in 1958, the denomination has been in circulation and become a legal tender.
Currently, the coins in the system or the economic sector of Ghana are one pesewa, five pesewas, 10 pesewas, 20 pesewas, 50 pesewas and one cedi.
However, the one pesewa coin has virtually lost its purchasing power due to inflation, and it is almost out of circulation. Consumers pay less attention to the coin of late.
For instance, my parents show less interest in the denomination partly because it is too small to the extent that even toddlers can easily swallow it.
From the market woman, the trotro mate to the man sitting in the office, the one pesewa coin is no longer a ‘people’s thing.’ Meanwhile, it was a ‘guy’ when it was first introduced; the malls had charity fund boxes right at their counters where people were putting in such monies for charity works.
But now, woe betide you to attempt to use the one pesewa or five pesewas coins to transact business.
As a result of this development, some items or products have to be compulsorily rounded up to about 10 pesewas against the consumer.
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A case in point is when a sachet of water, which was supposed to be five pesewas, was rounded off to 10 pesewas, and it is now 20 pesewas.
People have been abused and assaulted for making attempts to use the two denominations, while the regulator of the financial market, the BoG, appears to be quiet on the issue. The two denominations are almost gone out of circulation.
Not long ago, a trader refused two of the five pesewas which added up to 10 pesewas while another rejected four of the same coins, even though they summed up to 20 pesewas.
The simple explanation was that, the coins had lost it’s value and was no longer in circulation. What are we doing to ourselves as a people?
Will it be fair to conclude that the one and five pesewas coins have lost their value and been rendered useless?
I think the Central Bank must be blamed for this phenomenon. Now it is the one and five pesewas coins. Which ones will follow or fall victim next?
Hawkers, traders and shop owners are killing Ghanaians by rejecting these coins for business transactions.
Also, the Central Bank should come out to boldly condemn and apply punitive measures against persons who reject any of the denominations to maintain the value of the Ghanaian currency.