DDEP: ‘It is not late for government to be sensible and sensitive’ – Ricketts-Hagan
A former deputy Minister of Finance, Kweku Ricketts-Hagan, has told the government that it is not too late to clean-up the mess it has created in constructing the domestic debt exchange programme.
According to him, government’s determination on who should be included in the debt operation has jeopardised the programme and ruined the credibility of restructuring the country’s domestic debt in preparation for an IMF programme.
In an interview with GhanaWeb’s Nimatu Yakubu, the lawmaker said it is morally wrong to include pension funds in the debt exchange programme.
“Though the pension funds are substantial, about 25% of the total value of the bonds participating in the program, it is morally wrong for the Government to include it, in the debt exchange in the first place, because it is money meant to look after people in their old age, after having served the nation through hardwork in their working life.
“I can understand why the Government wants to include the pension funds because it’s huge, and they think it will help their cause. But it is absolutely wrong to penalise pensions funds, which have not played any role in the mess the government has created in over borrowing that has caused the nation a debt overhand,” he added.
Meanwhile, the February 7, 2023 deadline for the Domestic Debt Exchange Programme (DDEP) of the Government of Ghana was extended by three extra days over ‘technical glitches.’
The Ministry of Finance announced the development via a press release which read in part: “In connection with the ongoing Domestic Debt Exchange Programme (DDEP), the Government of Ghana thanks all bondholders who have so far tendered their bonds.
“However, it has come to the attention of Government that some bondholders faced technical glitches as they tried to complete the online tender process.”
The statement read further: “Government is providing bondholders with a window to complete processes for tendering their bonds, in response to the terms of Exchange as amended pursuant to the 2nd Amended and Restated Exchange Memorandum. This window ends on Friday, 10th February 2023 at 4:00 p.m. (GMT).”
The release dated February 7 was signed by Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta.
This becomes the fourth extension since the first announcement was made in December 2022.
The DDEP is part of conditionalities by government to access an International Monetary Fund bailout. The government is aiming to achieve IMF Board-Leve approval by March after sealing a Staff-Level Agreement in December 2022.