The central bank gave the explanation in reaction to comments made by former President John Mahama.

In a statement issued Friday, the central bank said 12 years after the redenomination of the cedi, high inflation and depreciation of the currency have eroded the face value of the existing series of banknotes.

“The deadweight burden of carrying large sums of money for economic transactions was returning, with the phenomenon of carrying currency in plastic bags. As is the normal practice in all jurisdictions, Central Banks undertake periodic reviews of the structure of existing currencies.

“In fact, international best practices require monetary authorities to review their currency regimes at intervals between five (5) and ten (10) years to (i) ensure that demand for banknotes are well aligned with economic activity, (ii) address weaknesses and challenges noted in the management of notes and coins in circulation, (iii) assess the non-usage of a particular series to ensure efficiency in printing, and (iv) address technological innovations that improve security features of the currencies. Furthermore, the denomination structure of the banknote should align well with the needs of the people who use it for their daily transactions,” the Bank of Ghana said in the statement.

According to Mr Mahama, who is also the flagbearer of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), the public knew little about the introduction of the new notes.

He accused the Bank of Ghana of ambushing the public with the new notes as there was no sensitisation and the banks were not notified either.

"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,” he said at the 38th Anniversary celebration of the 31st December Revolution at Winneba last Tuesday.