Former Director of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and Convener of the Pensioners Who Have Purchased Government Bonds, Dr. Adu Anane Antwi claims that the government wants pensioners to die, which is why the pensioners bond has been included in the domestic debt exchange program (DDEP).
The Minister of Finance had announced that the government would implement a voluntary DEP as part of measures to reduce the debt burden and give the government some breathing space to deal with the fiscal challenges facing the country.
With the DEP, domestic bondholders will see big drops in their interest rates and their investments will be held for longer.
Investors in dollar-denominated Eurobonds will also have to contend with both interest rate cuts and the loss of up to 30 percent of the principal amounts invested.
In addition, domestic debt investors will be asked to exchange their existing securities for new ones that may offer a zero coupon in the first year, five per cent in the second and 10 per cent in the third year.
Holders of short-term debt securities, comprising Treasury bills of 91 days, 182 days, and 364 days, will be excluded from the DEP.
Figures from the Central Securities Depository show that pension funds hold six percent of the government’s domestic debt.
Earlier, the Pensioners who have bought government bonds threatened to embark on a picketing at the Ministry of Finance on Monday, February, 6, 2023 to press home their demands for an exemption of their bonds from the government’s domestic debt exchange programme.
This was after attempts to have their investment exempted from the debt exchange programme failed.
Speaking on Atinka TV’s morning show, Ghana Nie with Ama Gyenfa Ofosu Darkwa, Dr. Adu Anane Antwi said most pensioners use their money to buy medicines, and so if they are not able to buy the medicine, they might lose their lives.
He also explained that even the price of medicine has shot up, saying that the pensioners may not get money to purchase them.
Despite their complaints, he noted that the government has failed to hear their grievances, hence the group’s resort to picketing.
Dr Antwi said after picketing on Monday, the group will still go there on Tuesday if nothing positive comes out.
“We have done all that we can so that the government will exclude pensioners from the programme but we have not been exempted, and that is why we are going to picket at the ministry.” We will also go there on Tuesday. “If after Tuesday we do not get any positive response, we will continue on Wednesday, we will go there on all the working days until we hear something new,” he said.
He continued, “We did not know that in the future we would have issues; that is why we put our money there, and it was not just any odd place but with the government.” Someone is on dialysis and he has to go to the hospital twice every week, the money he will use for that comes from his own pocket, someone is buying medicine for diabetes, high blood pressure, or stroke and all the money is coming from their own pocket but not from the government. In the United Kingdom, these medicines are given to them for free so when you gather money here in Ghana and now you want the money to look a certain way, then it is death that you want people to die, so we are telling them to exclude us completely from the programme.”
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