Members of the Pensioner Bondholders Forum, have expressed satisfaction with the announcement of the exemption from government’s domestic debt exchange program.
“I’m happy this is finally over and there will be nobody at the Ministry from tomorrow,” Convener of Pensioner Bondholders Forum, Dr Adu Anane Antwi, told Starr News after the Minister’s announcement in parliament Thursday.
The Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta, has confirmed that all pensioners who refused to subscribe to the domestic debt swap after the deadline have been exempted from the programme.
Addressing Parliament on the state of the Domestic Debt Exchange Programme, Mr Ofori-Atta said the pensioners have nothing to worry about adding that all their coupons and principals will be honoured when maturity is due.
“Mr Speaker, Government remains committed to the well-being and dignity of our Senior Citizens and Pensioners. Indeed, it has personally caused me great distress as a number of them have picketed at the premises of the Ministry of Finance since Monday, 6th February 2023. As I have already indicated in my Press Release dated 14th February 2023, Government will honour their coupon payments and maturing principals, like all Government bonds, in line with Government’s Fiscal commitments.
“Mr Speaker, in seeking to understand the concerns of our Senior Citizens, I have met with them on three occasions. The most recent was yesterday 15th February 2022, where I explained the terms of the new bonds.
“Mr Speaker, I subsequently wrote to their Convener, letting him know that all pensioners who did not participate in the exchange are exempted and therefore there will be no need for our Senior Citizens to picket at the Finance Ministry. Mr Speaker, I would like to thank all those who helped in those discussions.”
The group has for the past few days pitched camp at the Finance Ministry for an hourly picketing exercise.
The protest which witnessed a number of top personalities including former Chief Justice Sophia Akuffo was in demand for total exemption from government’s completed DDEP.
The government has however expressed appreciation to Ghanaians for the success of the program.
“With great relief and immense gratitude, Government is pleased to announce that as of 14th February 2023, approximately 85% of bonds were tendered in the Exchange (as determined by the Central Securities Depository).
“On behalf of H.E. the President of the Republic, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, I wish to express our profound appreciation to the people of Ghana for their patience and support throughout these very challenging times. I also wish to extend our gratitude to the overwhelming number of bondholders who chose to participate in this all-important effort to pull the economy back from crisis,” he noted.