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Debt Exchange: We don’t want extension of deadline; exemption is what we need – Martin Kpebu

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Legal representative for the Individual Bondholders Association of Ghana, Martin Kpebu has said the Association is not enthused by the government’s extension of deadline for enrollment onto the debt exchange programme.

Government on Monday announced the extension of the deadline for its domestic debt exchange programme to January 31.

This, according to the state, is to deepen stakeholder engagement on the proposed policy.

But Martin Kpebu says this extension will only drag negotiations with the government and worsen their pains.

According to him, an outright exemption from the programme is their demand.

“No, we are not (happy with the extension) because it just lengthens our pain. Matters are just getting elongated because they will say come and make the same argument at the table…Why do you have to take us through this painful journey of coming to the negotiating table to repeat all these arguments when thankfully for us the budget is a public document…we cannot say the government has no money?

“All we expected was that government has heard the plea and cry of individual bondholders, we hereby exempt them. Simple! The word ‘exempt’ that’s what we are looking for. We are not looking for some big grammar which is subject to a thousand interpretations,” he told Evans Mensah on Top Story, Monday.

Meanwhile, the Minority in Parliament has called for the suspension of the entire programme.

Addressing a press conference on Monday, the Minority Leader, Haruna Iddrisu said the programme as currently structured will worsen the plight of Ghanaians, hence the need for the President to put it on hold and consult some more.

“We in the NDC, the Minority group call on President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo to immediately suspend the ongoing debt exchange programme. It is already failing”, he stressed.

The Ghana Individual Bondholders Forum and the Individual Bondholders Association of Ghana have also announced that there will be a “gargantuan” demonstration against the government if it goes ahead and include investments in the ongoing Domestic Debt Exchange programme.

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