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‘Ghana is in a very difficult place’ – Gabby Otchere-Darko

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A leading member of the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP), Gabby Otchere-Darko, has asserted that Ghana is in a ‘very difficult place’ with regard to the state of the economy.

The NPP stalwart made this concession while urging individual bondholders to accept government’s domestic debt exchange programme.

According to him, looking at the country’s present economic crisis, it will be fatal for the bondholders to resist the terms of the proposed programme.

He therefore urged the bondholders to reason with government to collectively restore the economy.

“Ghana is in a very difficult place. What we are seeing with the mobilisation of agitation on individual bondholders poses a real and serious risk worse than what we witnessed when opposition to E-Levy succeeded in derailing an already shaky macroeconomic situation from 2021”, he tweeted on Sunday.

“The debt exchange programme is voluntary for individual bondholders but a very necessary evil for our economy.

Its success is critical to restoring macroeconomic stability, securing an IMF prog. It hits those of us holding bonds very hard. A straight no to it is no solution!”, portions of the tweet further stated.

The remarks by the founder of the Danquah Institute comes in the wake of growing public agitations from individual bondholders about government’s proposed domestic debt exchange programme.

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

This means, the bondholders will not have any returns on their bonds with government.

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 be able to get the full principal they initially invested as bonds.

This proposal, since its announcement has been rejected by many bondholders who have expressed frustration about the development.

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.

Some of the aggrieved bondholders, who recently interacted with JoyNews have thrown their hands in despair, with others contemplating suicide.

The affected investors say with government’s intended management of their bonds, they may not even be able to meet their expenses such as rent, feeding and the payment of fees for their wards.

They have therefore called on government and other relevant stakeholders to intervene in the matter.

In this regard, policy analyst, Senyo Hosi, who is part of the crusade, is currently mobilising all affected bondholders to collectively resist the move by government.

Speaking on JoyNews‘ PM Express last week, he stated that the proposal by government is ‘insensitive’ and must be outrightly resisted.

Meanwhile, government insists the debt exchange programme is the way to go in rescuing the economy.

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