Tamale North MP calls for ‘national debt forum’ to discuss DDEP

Tamale North MP, Alhassan Suhuyini, is of the view that a national debt forum is needed to address the country’s debt challenge.

According to the NDC lawmaker, it is obvious from the opposition it has generated, that the Debt Exchange Programme is not the best way out of the current level of indebtedness of the country.

Mr. Suhuyini therefore suggested the hosting of a forum “where you have all the stakeholders sitting together to have a conversation, where it is frank, where you all know what you have to give and take and especially where the government leads the way in shaving its hair”.

His suggestion comes on the back of the widespread public resentment which has greeted the programme.

In a bid to rescue the economy and secure a deal with the International Monetary Fund (IMF), government earlier proposed that all bondholders will not receive any interests on their bonds for the 2023 financial year.

The payment of dividends, according to government is likley to begin next year, 2024 at a discounted rate of 5%.

In relation to this, bondholders who may want to transfer or even forfeit their bonds will not even be able to get the full principal they initially invested as bonds.

But a group, calling itself Individual Bond Holders Association of Ghana have vehemently opposed the idea.

In their view, if the proposal is implemented, they will suffer a great deal of loss, with many of them stating that their investments may even become unprofitable.

A leading member of the group, Martin Kpebu has therefore been insisting that IBHAG will not accept government’s programme.

Meanwhile, government extended the deadline for the programme.

It is also pleading with individual bondholders to subscribe.

The Finance Ministry in a press release on Tuesday added that a new settlement date of Tuesday, February 14, 2023, will be confirmed via the new Exchange Memorandum.

The original deadline for the Programme expired at 4:00pm on January 31.

But it was extended due to the low patronage.

Government therefore wants investors to rally behind its revised programme.

“All bondholders are hereby encouraged to commence all administrative processes towards their participation in the Exchange, in line with the agreements reached”, the Ministry concluded in its release.

SourcePaa Kwesi Schandorf

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