US-based Ghanaian economist, Dr Sa-ad Iddrisu, has described the Domestic Debt Exchange Programme (DDEP) by the government as “sama noli” which means losses in the Dagbani dialect.
Speaking on JoyNews’ Am Show via a zoom interview, on Tuesday, Dr Iddrisu said that pensioners and individual bondholders will incur losses no matter how the programme is implemented.
“The DDEP is never needed for the country considering all the losses people are going to incur. Inasmuch as the government has gone back and forth to make those adjustments, if you still look at the entire programme, I could basically describe it as ‘sama noli’, in Dagbani it implies as losses,” he said.
The academic, who made these remarks while reacting to news of the government achieving more than the 80% target needed for the DDEP, doubted whether the announcement by the government was true.
“At least the government is telling us that we have been able to achieve 80% participation, that is if what government is saying is true. Because government hasn’t come out purposefully to break it down for us to say as to the 80% is it from the industry level, which is the Ghana Association of Bankers’ participation reaching that level. Or it has to do with some participation from some individual bondholders as well as some of the pensioners,” he said.
Dr Sa-ad Iddrisu also blamed the government for the current challenges in the country; saying that if the resources of the country were managed properly the country will not need the DDEP.
“… what led us into this particular scenario that the government is now even looking to beg its citizens, to give their life savings out in a way of 50/50 arrangement to salvage the economy? Because if an economy that since 2017 to date has been able to receive over 30 billion dollars, why would such an economy be going after its pensioners and individual bondholders who are looking to just make meagre income to survive?
“That means that there is a structural problem, that means that there is a bit of mismanagement happening at the Ministry of Finance. It may not necessarily be with regards to the entire government but whoever is in charge of Ministry of Finance needs to explain to Ghanaians how come we are in this situation,” Dr Iddrisu said.
He also said that the silence of the Vice President, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, who is the head of Ghana’s Economic Management Team, on the measures the government is taking to resolve the economic challenges is very worrying and a violation of economic principles.
Dr Sa-ad Iddrisu commended former Chief Justice Sophia Akuffo for standing up for the truth while calling on individuals within the government to be willing to speak up when things go wrong.