Immediate past Chief Justice under the Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo-led government appears to have lost her cool over a pending decision by Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta to include pensioners in the Domestic Debt Exchange Program.
Sophia Akuffo called out the finance minister over the decision which she described as ‘wicked’ and ‘unlawful’ when she joined pensioners at the finance ministry on Friday, February 11, 2023, to picket.
Speaking in an interview with GhanaWeb, Sophia Akuffo said it is unfair for government to sacrifice the hard-earned monies of pensioners, most of whom depend on their investments to survive after retirement.
She sees no reason why they are being given an option to ‘take it or leave it’ when they made those investments on a contract basis.
These are some key points Sophia raised in her argument about the inclusion of pensioners in the DDEP:
We’ve been through times when all your savings become nonsense because of some government policy. Over the years, bit by bit, people have become more confident in the economy, in investments.
There are quite a number of people here today, who retired last year, last two years. When they retired, they put everything into government bonds and now all of a sudden, you virtually want to, at gun point, force them to agree with you that the repayment of their investment or yields of their investments should be as you dictate it. Why?
Why are we in the mess we are in, nobody has fully explained it to us, yes debts, we took debts, what was it used for? Where is the accountability? You are not telling us about how you are going to make things better but just ‘help me and I’ll help you’ no, you help yourself first.
I find it wicked, I find it disrespectful, I find it unlawful, I find it totally wrong period. Because you don’t solve your problems by sacrificing the aged, that’s the last thing you should do especially when you don’t have any services that are particularly geared at the comfort and relief of the aged.
The minister of finance had better go back to the drawing table and come back with a better proposal otherwise nobody is going to, I’m encouraging people not to agree to sign up to anything. And if need be, we can all go to court.
A contract is a contract and has to be respected and if you want to renegotiate it, come to the table with humility, and come with a yesable proposition, not ‘take it or leave it’.
All of us, it is our duty to shore up our economy but we voted government into power to take care of our economy so we should see where the due diligence is.
Please they should come again, this is a non-starter.I’m not speaking to the president, he has appointed someone to take care of our money and I remember when Ken Ofori-Atta was first appointed, I remember a statement he made that he sees the responsibility as minister of finance to protect the public purse. If you haven’t protected the public purse, why should it be us?