The University Teachers Association of Ghana (UTAG), has asked the government to take a second look at the Debt Exchange programme following concerns raised by stakeholders.
The Minister of Finance, Ken Ofori-Atta, launched the Debt Exchange Programme as part of efforts to save the ailing economy.
Under the Programme, domestic bondholders will be asked to exchange their instruments for new ones.
After the launch of the program, groups such as the Ghana Medical Association (GMA), the Ghana National Union of Traders Association (GUTA), and the Trades Union Congress (TUC) have all rejected the programme.
In a statement, UTAG said it is convinced that the debt exchange programme may negatively affect the Ghana Universities Salary Superannuation Scheme (GUSSS) as well as Tiers Two and Three Pension Funds of its members.
“In particular, we reject the wholesale implementation of the recently announced debt exchange programme.”
“We are convinced that the debt exchange programme may negatively affect the Ghana Universities Salary Superannuation Scheme (GUSSS) as well as Tiers Two and Three Pension Funds of our members. It would also result in significant reduction in the principal and/or interest payments due members who have invested in mutual funds and may need resources to meet emergency needs.”
“Again, given that the individual savings of many of our members are lodged with the various Credit Unions on our campuses, part of which have been invested in bonds, any attempt at wholesale implementation of the announced debt exchange programme would ultimately harm the savings of our members.
“We, therefore, reiterate our vehement opposition to any straight-jacket implementation of the announced debt exchange programme. It should not, in any way, affect the pensions and other investment returns of the hardworking Ghanaian.”
“Government should consider the genuine concerns raised by various stakeholders and rethink the debt exchange programme. UTAG is willing to brainstorm and support Government to find lasting solutions to address the current economic challenges,” excerpts of UTAG statement read.