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BANK-Introduces 1000 note

By Gilo Jr. Okwata

The Bank of South Sudan (BSS) announced on Tuesday, the introduction ofthe 1000 SSPbank note to restore convenience characteristics of the currency.

In a press statement to the media, the Governor ofthe bank,Dier Tong Ngor said that theycarried out a review to ensure that the available denominations were aligned with macro-economic conditions and demand.

“As you areall aware, the past few years have been characterized by high inflation, and the perpetual depreciation of the currency has exuded the face value of our banknotes.

Bank of South Sudan carries out a review of the denomination mix from time to time to ensure that the available denomination mixes are aligned with macro-economic conditions and demand,” Tong said.

He stated that the international best practices require central banks to review their currency regimes at intervals of between five and ten years to ensure that demand for banknotes is well aligned with economic activities, address weaknesses, end challenges associated with the management of notes and coins in circulation, assess the non-usage of a particular series to ensure efficiency in printing, and address technological innovations that impact the usage of currencies.

According to the governor, the aim of introducing the new denomination is to align the structure of the banknote with the needs of the people who use it for their daily transactions.

“We need banknotes that are convenient, high quality, secure, and cost-effective,” he stated.

The governor revealed that in July 2019 the Bank of South Sudan planned to introduce the 1000 SSP after the successful introduction of 500 banknote in 2018 which indicated a significant increase in the demand for higher denomination banknotes,” Tong added.

“It is in view of the need to make our currency more convenient to use that we are introducing the SSP 1000 banknote today into circulation to complement the existing banknotes, to ensure customer convenience, and bring about efficiency in the printing of currencies to generate savings for the country. This new higher value denomination will only partially restore the dollar value of SSP 10 in 2011, but high enough to significantly reduce the deadweight loss and high transaction cost in making high-value purchases in a cash-based economy like this,” Tong added.

He cautioned that the introduction of high-value notes should not be misinterpreted to mean a shift away from the Central Bank’s policy of promoting the use of electronic modes of payments, adding that while vigorously pursuing financial inclusion by accelerating the migration to e-payment platforms, the bank is also mindful of the relevance of cash in our day-to-day dealings thus,undeniably, cash system still remains a ‘king’ and a preferred medium of payment by the large informal sector in the country.

“This is whywe continue to pay attention to enhancements in the structure, security features, and management of cash within the economy,” Tong underlined.

The governor also revealed that in the coming days, the Bank of South Sudan would embark on a nationwide campaign to educate the general public on the key security features of the new denomination while at the same time urging the public and the media, to enlighten people about the1000 SSP banknote features to facilitate the detection of counterfeit notes.

In September, 2020, Juba Monitor ran a story based on a confidential source who revealed that public awareness would have been carried out before the introduction of 1000 denomination however; the Bank of South Sudan vehemently denied any shreds of knowledge about the matter and demanded clarification from the Juba Monitor’s management.

The rate of South Sudanese Pound has been depreciating against foreign currencies by a combination of drop in oil prices and the economic decline resulting from the impact of Covid-19. Consequently, the prices of scarce commodities in the markets are skyrocketing.

Yesterday, the South Sudanese Pound was trading at 61,500 SSP to USD 100in the black market and 18,000 SSP to USD100 at bank rate.

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