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Debt exchange programme: Touch our pensions and we strike – CLOSSAG warns government

The Civil and Local Government Staff Association (CLOSSAG) has served notice that its members will embark on a nationwide strike if the government goes ahead with its objective to include pension funds in its debt reconstruction programme.

As a critical part of the ongoing negotiations with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to secure Ghana $3 billion to support the economy, the government is exchanging already sold bonds for new ones with a more flexible interest payment plan.

Addressing a press conference, Executive Secretary of CLOGSAG, Isaac Bampoe Addo, served notice to all, particularly the National Labour Commission (NLC), that the Association will not hesitate to proceed on an indefinite strike if government touches pension funds of workers under the Domestic Debt Exchange Programme.

“In the light of the above, CLOGSAG will like to entreat all its members to be calm and go about their normal duties and continue to contribute to the good governance of Ghana,” stated Executive Secretary of CLOGSAG Isaac Bampoe Addo. “Ayekoo to all workers. We will continue to be on the alert.

“CLOGSAG is serving notice on the National Labour Commission that should government default in owning any of the coupons when due for the schemes, it will declare an indefinite nationwide strike.”

Workers have raised concerns about the seeming unilateral decision by which the government is introducing the programme.

The programme is part of the debt restructuring efforts as Ghana positions itself for an extended credit facility from the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

Under the policy, domestic bondholders will be asked to exchange their instruments for new ones.

Existing domestic bonds as of Thursday, December 1, will be exchanged for a set of four new bonds maturing in 2027, 2029, 2032 and 2037.

The annual coupon on all of those bonds will be set at 0% in 2023, 5% in 2024 and 10% from 2025 until maturity with coupon payments done semi-annually.

But Mr Bampoe Addo said the move is against the National Pensions Act, Act 766, thus reminding the Minister of Finance, Ken Ofori-Atta, that he should update himself with the provisions of the Act.





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