Governance Lecturer at the Central University, Dr. Benjamin Otchere-Ankrah has asked Finance Minister to stop punishing Ghanaians in relation with the Domestic Debt Exchange Programme (DDEP).
The government launched this DDEP last year inviting holders of bonds to voluntarily exchange approximately GH¢137 billion domestic notes and bonds including ESLA and Daakye for a package of new bonds and as a result, existing domestic bonds were to be exchanged for a set of four new bonds maturing in 2027, 2029, 2032, and 2037.
This debt exchange programme has incurred the wrath of many Ghanaians with particularly bondholders opposing the initiative.
Pensioner Bondholders Forum has petitioned the government to exempt their members holding sovereign bonds from the programme and Individual Bondholders’ Forum (IBF), a voluntary group of individual bondholders, is requesting a review as well.
Reacting to the issue during Peace FM’s “Kokrokoo”, Dr. Otchere-Ankrah cautioned the Minister and the Akufo-Addo government about the repercussions of the programme.
“Let’s not make it like we are punishing someone who has given his/her money to help the government for the government to undertake its businesses, then when the time is up to redeem it, you don’t say anything to them other than you have taken a decision that, by 16th, if they don’t respond; their money will go to waste,” he stated.
He continued that Mr. Ofori-Atta’s insistence to roll out the programme may discourage people from procuring bonds which will have a boomerang effect on successive governments.
“I’m only pleading that we become very careful. There are some things you will do now but won’t see the consequences immediately but posterity will suffer. Future governments will suffer because of this decision.”
“I’m not so comfortable, especially for the future. Will a government come in the future to sell bond and expect the citizenry to buy it?”, he questioned.
He advised the government to pay attention to the bondholders’ concerns saying “let’s put emotions aside. Let’s shelve some of our egos and look at the national interest”.