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Tamale Beggars Showered in Old Currency

2008-01-02 21:51:18
This article has been read 1232 times.

Beggars in the Tamale Metropolis had a "day out" on December 31, (deadline for the withdrawal of the old currency) when residents gave out alms in large sums in the old currency to them. They told the GNA that it was a gold mine for them.

Some of the beggars were also trading the new currency for the old one on profit basis, which was earning them extra money due to the fact that some people felt reluctant to send monies to the Banks for exchange.

Speaking in separate interviews with the GNA in various begging points in the Tamale Metropolis, they said they have recorded high sums of alms these last few days of the year though it ceases to be legal tender after 31st December 2007.

Surprisingly, some of the beggars were quick to say that they would go to the Banks to change for the new ones while others say they would keep a few as "museum" pieces for the next generation.

One of the beggars who gave his name only as Abu standing at the traffic light opposite Barclays Bank said he got 330 thousand cedis (GH=A233) as at 1030 hours when the GNA interviewed him.

He said the highest money he ever got as a beggar was 70 thousand cedis (GH=A27), saying, "I know that at the close of day I would get more than what I have now if people are still dashing out the old currency."

Asked what he would use it for, he retorted "Don't I listen to news? The Banks would not discriminate against us. I know that those who have no patience to queue at the Banks are those dashing out the old money."

Another beggar in front of the Inter City STC yard got 170 thousand cedis (GH=A217) as 1100 hours as at the time the GNA interacted with him, while another, a female beggar, stationed around the main Taxi rank said she received a large amount of the old coins from a philanthropist and was yet to count it.

Others who spoke to the GNA had money between 30 thousand cedis and 55 thousand cedis with some of them receiving smaller amounts of the new currency, but conceded that the dashes this few days had been good and unprecedented.


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