Convener of the Individual Bondholders Forum, Martin Kpebu, says the Finance Minister’s performance on the domestic debt exchange programme has been the most shambolic he has seen in recent times.
According to him, Ken Ofori-Atta has failed to communicate appropriately to bondholders throughout the domestic debt exchange programme and as a result has further bungled the process which he described as “dead on arrival.”
He noted that the failure of the Minister to explain in plain words the fact that the government would not be paying the bond coupons on the day of their maturity as he had earlier promised was akin to him toying with the lives and livelihoods of bondholders.
Speaking on JoyNews’ PM Express, Martin Kpebu said the delay tactic being employed by the Minister is merely to scare bondholders into subscribing to the debt exchange programme.
“This is the most shambolic performance that I’ve seen in recent times or this our Finance Minister is just super super incompetent. I mean come on, is this a circus? What does the Finance Minister take citizens for?
“That on Monday 30th January, he came out publicly to confirm his promise to individual bondholders that government will honour existing bonds which promise was made on Friday, 27th January at our meeting with him. So after confirming this on Monday 30th, then Friday 3rd February he slots in a U-turn in the info-memo or the exchange memorandum.
“This is so shambolic. He’s ridiculed governance. We’ve sank so low. Is that how you lead a country? That you’re scaremongering, you spook people, you stampede them to come and sign up your debt exchange; a debt exchange that is dead on arrival. Ofori-Atta doesn’t cease to amaze me, it’s a shame,” he said.
He continued, “So much disrespect for citizens, so much disrespect. This arrogance must stop. I mean is it a child’s play? You come out and make a statement that ‘look, I can’t even think about defaulting, I can’t say government will not pay you, I cannot even say that’ on a Friday evening, 27th, repeated on Monday 30th publicly, then just four days down the line, Friday 3rd February, you did a U-turn.”
He noted that the Minister through his poor communication skills has created so much distrust and opacity in a programme which was supposed to be transparent and assuring.
“So his way of communicating is so shambolic, he’s casued so much distrust. Maybe it’s the money he’s made that’s gone into his head , the money Ofori-Atta has made from our bonds has gone into his head that he can treat us with such contempt. I don’t blame him, we’ll blame ourselves.
“Our crime is that we voted for them you come into office, make hundreds of millions from these same bonds that today have created this problem and then you’re treating citizens so shambolically. It’s not just disrespect Evans, you know very well, Evans, that he’s toying with citizens’ livelihood contrary to Article 36 clause 1 which says government in developing should protect livelihoods.”
Meanwhile, Tuesday, 7th February 2023, is the final deadline for institutions and individuals to sign up to Ghana’s Domestic Debt Exchange Programme.
The Finance Minister following recent engagements with stakeholders has recalibrated the framework of the DDEP, with the following constituting the terms of the improved and enhanced offer:
- All individual bondholders who are below the age of 59 years (Category A) are being offered instruments with a maximum maturity of 5 years, instead of 15 years, and a 10% coupon rate;
- All retirees (including those retiring in 2023) (Category B) are being offered instruments with a maximum maturity of 5 years, instead of 15 years, and a 15% coupon rate.