Thursday, October 30, 2008

Will the price of "purewater" sachet rise to 10pesewas?

this article was written before the presidential intervention in May.

I ask this question because Ghana's inflation rate seems to be soaring gradually and I can't possibly tell you where it's going to rest from the current 15% rate as our economists have made us aware. I hope it does rest soon because I do not want Ghana's inflation rate to be a replica of Zimbabwe's, 'na lie' my brother!

These days prices of good and services steadily keep rising by 5pesewas.Current transportation fares are a classic example, indeed passengers are really feeling the pinch, this they express by incessantly picking up squabbles with 'trotro mates'(bus conductors as known in Ghanaian street parlance).

Quickly it comes to mind that this is what the economy will encounter when the regime in power 'unwillingly' refuse to mint enough 1p and 2p coins for petty and routine transactions. After the elaborate campaign on the use of the Ghana pesewa, I least expected this outcome.

I keep asking, who really benefits from the unavailable pesewa coins? And who is also at the losing end? Critically speaking, items which should have had an increment by about 2p are increased by 5p with ease; in fact this phenomenon is rapidly pushing up the price mark for petty consumables. We also should not forget that hitherto there was even the old 50cedis coin. To me it’s most unfortunate that this trend is coming at a time when Ghanaians have not been made privy to the budget that accompanied the re denomination process.

So how much money was withdrawn and how much more was pumped into circulation plus how much was used to financing the mint process?

We need and ought to know the answers to all these questions that are cropping up. I'm quite sure that there was a cost-benefit project analysis undertaken before the decision to re-denominate the old cedi for the new Ghana cedi. I shudder to think that the only benefit that is readily enjoyed is the fact that we are no more carrying large sums of cash for transactions as was happening with the old currency. While mute was kept over the shortage of the 1p and 2p coins and its resultant effect on prices.

Definitely, a thin line can be drawn between the shortage of the 1p and 2p coins, and the correlation it has with inflation. Before some of you begin scrutinizing my economics background and think that probably I am postulating my version of economics theories on inflation, I must also state before hand that both my economics tutor in secondary school and lecturer in the university did not like me, bottom line, I was such a bad student whenever it came to economics. But for all I care, am a layman trying very hard to make some sense out of the mess, am I not?

Gradually we are trying to meet the same very dire conditions that brought about the re denomination, and if indeed we do meet those conditions by not acting swiftly, am sorry to state that then the entire re denomination exercise has been flawed. Please don’t be surprised because the writings were on the wall long ago, the value is the same, abi?

Times are hard and one cannot afford to drop a pesewa. In fact how can you, when constantly we are being reminded about O.I.L (Operation Iraqi Liberation) price hikes on the world market, food shortage and climate change, why would you want to take things for granted and muse that it doesn't hurt to lose some pesewas.

In fact I’ll have to be charitable enough to you; a free unsolicited consultancy advice will surely come in handy one of these days. Better welcome it gladly before it’s too late. The next time you go shopping in town when the ever blazing sun is most high. And you feel thirsty and sweaty; please quickly buy a sachet of water to mellow down your biological temperature.

Just pay if the seller updates you on the latest price of 10p!

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