DDEP: Leave our pensioners alone – Bagbin tells Finance Minister

Ken Ofori-Atta, the Minister of Finance, has been asked by the Speaker of Parliament to refrain from touching the money that belongs to the pensioners.

Alban Bagbin has asserted that the current economic problem may be resolved without the involvement of the monies contributed by retirees.

On Thursday, February 16, while the House of Representatives was winding up its work for the day, the former Member of Parliament for Nadowli Kaleo stated that Parliament will reject any attempt to include monies belonging to retirees in the Domestic Debt Exchange Programme (DDEP).

“All I can advise you is that you should not bother our elderly citizens. You can find a solution to the problem without using any of their meager funds.

Already, the Minister of Finance has announced that any retirees who did not successfully exchange their old bonds for new ones as part of the exercise will not be required to participate in the program. This decision was made in advance.

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Mr. Ofori-Atta assured the members of Parliament during his presentation on the status of the Domestic Debt Exchange Program that the pensioners have no reason to be concerned.

Mr. Ofori-Atta stated that he has formally written to the pensioner bondholders who did not sign onto the program about their exemption from the exercise. This was done in order to inform them of their exemption from the process.

“Mr. Speaker, our government has not wavered in its dedication to protecting the health and dignity of our senior citizens and pensioners.

“In point of fact, it has personally caused me a great deal of distress due to the fact that a number of them have been picketing outside the premises of the Ministry of Finance since Monday, February 6th, 2023.

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“As I have already mentioned in my press release on the 14th of February 2023, the government will honor their coupon payments and maturing principal, just like it does with all other government bonds, in keeping with the government’s fiscal commitments,”

To help stabilize the country’s faltering economy, Ghana has approached the International Monetary Fund (IMF) with a request for a bailout of three billion dollars.

One of the prerequisites that must be met before the board of the Bretton Woods institution may assess Ghana’s request is the completion of the local debt restructuring scheme.

In December, Ghana and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) came to an agreement on a staff level, which paved the way for the rescue of $3 billion.

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