Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta

The Pensioner Bondholders Forum has threatened to picket at the Ministry of Finance on January 23, 2023, if government fails to exempt them from the Domestic Debt Exchange Programme. 

The Forum said it had written to the District Commander of the Ghana Police Service at the Ministries in Accra to notify the police of their intended action. 

Dr Adu A. Antwi, the Convener, Pensioner Bondholders Forum, speaking at a press briefing in Accra, said the Forum had petitioned the government to exempt its members from the Domestic Debt Exchange Programme.  

Dr Antwi said the Forum on January 13, 2023, presented a petition to Mr Ken Ofori Atta, the Finance Minister, for the exclusion of pensioners and requested a meeting with him, but had not gotten any response. 

“We have also petitioned key stakeholders in the country, including the Speaker of Parliament, the Council of State, the National House of Chiefs , the Christian Council of Ghana, the Office of the Chief Imam, the National Peace Council, and the Catholic Bishop’s Conference, about our displeasure on the issue,” he said. 

Dr Antwi said the executive of the Forum had requested to meet Mr Ofori-Atta for discussion before the deadline of the Debt Exchange Programme.  

He assured the pensioners that the Forum would engage with the government to address the issue, stressing, “We are not tendering in our bonds.” 

The Convener said if the Government failed to exempt pensioners’ bonds, it would have serious consequences on (Pensioners) their lives. 

Government last year announced Ghana’s Domestic Debt Exchange Programme to invite holders of bonds to voluntarily exchange approximately GH¢137 billion domestic notes and bonds of the Republic, including ESLA and Daakye for a package of new bonds. 

As a result, existing domestic bonds were to be exchanged as of December 1, 2022, for a set of four new bonds maturing in 2027, 2029, 2032, and 2037. 

The annual coupon on all these new bonds will be set at zero per cent in 2023, five per cent in 2024 and 10 per cent from 2025 until maturity.  

Coupon payments will be semi-annual. 

Meanwhile, a statement on the Ministry of Finance website Monday said the deadline for the Domestic Debt Exchange had been extended to January 31, 2023 from January 16, 2023. 

It said, ” Building consensus is key to a successful economic recovery of Ghana. Pending further stakeholders engagement with institutional and individual investors recently invited to join the debt exchange programme, government is extending the expiration of the programme to January 31, 2023.”