What happened to the bondholders’ GHS 83bn fiscal re-adjustment recommendation? – Imani Boss asks Ofori-Atta

Founding President of Imani Africa Mr Franklin Cujdoe has asked Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta to explain what happened to the bondholders’ GHS 83 billion fiscal re-adjustment recommendation.

It is recalled that a report by the Joint Technical Committee set up by the Finance Ministry on the exclusion of individual bondholders under the Domestic Debt Exchange Programme (DDEP), said Ghana can save about GHS 83 billion in fiscal re-adjustments.

The Forum in the Report recommended that the Government reviewed and made some specific adjustments to its revenue and expenditure to contain the current economic crises.

This came up during a Public Forum on Ghana’s Domestic Debt Exchange Programme dubbed: ” Ghana’s Debt Exchange Programme in context: A make or break for an IMF bailout or are there viable alternatives?”

It said oil production had dropped from over 200kbpd to below 160kbpd yielding a revenue loss of more than $300 mill (GHS 3.6 billion).

It, therefore, called on the Government to review the regulatory and fiscal environment.

The Forum said an estimated GHS 13.9 billion in revenue was lost through financial irregularities of Metropolitan, Districts Assemblies per the Auditor-General’s report and the Government must pursue these funds.

Again, it said GHS 20 billion could be saved by privatizing selected State-Owned Enterprises (SOEs) Tier-2 pension funds to drive efficiency and productivity.

As Tuesday, February 7 marks the final deadline for the programme and the government through the Ministry of Finance said it was hopeful that all domestic investors would participate.

In a statement released on Monday, February 6, Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta said that as a government, the singular motivation “for taking this rather difficult road is to restore macro-economic stability, achieve debt sustainability and get the economy fully back on track. We know that these are necessary pre-conditions for creating jobs; safeguarding and enhancing incomes; fostering inclusive growth; and restoring hope to Ghanaians.”

MoF Update on the Economy- DDEP 6 Feb 2023

Through collective hard work and discipline, coupled with the abiding and abundant grace of the Almighty God,  he said the government has been focused on avoiding a full-blown economic crisis.

“Indeed, the Grace of God assures us that ‘Surely there is a future, and your hope will not be cut off.’ Proverbs 23:18 ESV,

“Our remarkable progress with the on-going International Monetary Fund Programme is a significant boost to our recovery efforts. Continuous progress will steer us further away from the slippery precipice we recently faced. Therefore, the momentum must be sustained,” he said.

Considering the importance of a sustained economic recovery backed by an approved International Monetary Fund (IMF) programme in the first quarter 2023, he said, it is crucial for groups and individuals to consider the merit of the enhanced DDEP, as well as the need for economic stability; and sign up by tomorrow to make it a successful one.

“Let every Ghanaian be encouraged that the DDEP will bring us to a place of stability, economic recovery and transformational growth. We must do this together.

“Government on its part is resolved to continue to undertake all necessary fiscal adjustments that would ensure that our sacrifices will pay-off and the collective good is upheld. Let each and everyone play their part.

“These are difficult times, no doubt, but if we hold on together, we can and we will emerge from this more resilient and more united than before. Then we shall, together, continue rebuilding our economy again; and enable businesses to thrive again; and bring back hope and cheer to our homes again.”

Commenting on this in a tweet, Mr Franklin Cudjhjoe said “I get the Finance Minister’s loud cry that as many bondholders should accept to be part of the debt exchange program lest the economy crashes.

“Okay, but what happened to the bondholders ’GHS 83 billion fiscal re-adjustment recommendations he tasked us to come up with?”

Source: By Laud Nartey

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