In light of the difficulties, Dr. Mark Assibey-Yeboah, chair of the Finance Committee in the seventh parliament, has advised the government to halt funding for a number of its initiatives, including the Planting for Food and Jobs (PFJ) initiative.
In spite of the dire economic situation, he said he cannot comprehend why the government will keep funding this project.
On Monday, January 16, the former New Patriotic Party (NPP) Member of Parliament for New Juaben South commented on the domestic debt exchange on Business Focus with TV3’s Paa Kwesi Asare. “I cannot access my principle until 2030, yet you want to roll out all sorts of programs?”
Can’t you put some of the things we’re paying for on hold? Can’t we put the planting of employment and food on hold? Why should we continue to spend GHS660 million on food and employment planting? We are unable to halt some of the expenses.
“Therefore, the government must likewise share in the burden if you want me to do so. The IMF doesn’t need to urge you to stop funding some of these programs. He also stated that the Ghanaian economy is now in a terrible state.
He said that the weakening economy is causing banks and the whole financial industry to fail.
Dr. Assibey-Yeboah, who served as the 7th Parliament’s chair of the Finance Committee, said, “Now, we are in a hole. You have individual bondholders who are going to be affected. “The financial industry is going to crush.” appeared on TV3’s Business Focus with Paa Kwasi Asare on January 16. The banks—I won’t name names—will fail, and given where our nation is right now, this is not the time to massage the situation.
“Let’s assume you are a bank with a GHS2 billion exposure to government bonds. Do you know what would happen to your balance sheet if you had 20 percent equity, which equated to an interest payment of 400 million cedis? Banks will thus lay off workers.
He anticipated that the deadline for the domestic debt exchange would be advanced once more. According to him, the administration has not taken the essential actions to guarantee a successful program.
The Domestic Debt Exchange (DDE) Program was once again extended by the government on Monday, January 16. Following calls from individual bondholders to join the program, this is the third extension. The choice is to give the government more freedom to communicate with these bondholders.
The government originally chose the next day as the announcement date when it extended its membership in the program from Friday, December 30, 2022, to Monday, January 16. According to that plan, the invitation distribution was scheduled to take place on Tuesday, January 24.
On the other hand, the administration once again declared on Monday, January 16, that the new deadline would be Tuesday, January 31.
In the 7th Parliament, Dr. Assibey-Yeboah, the chair of the Finance Committee, stated, “Initially, we were promised that individual bondholders would not be included in the debt swap.
You sneak this one out in the wee hours of December 31st and announce that individual bondholders are now a part of it. People have built their lives on the bonds that they own.
“We didn’t pay attention since we were all celebrating Christmas,”
“Someone is taking from my hard-earned money,” he continued. You assured me that individual bondholders wouldn’t participate. Why are specific bondholders included? Have you spoken with each bondholder separately? Not at all. The deadline will thus be extended once again, in my opinion. We are not conducting the necessary consultations or making the difficult decisions that must be made.
Individual bondholders had voiced their displeasure with the program and accused the government of not involving them enough.
They had asked Ken Ofori-Atta, the finance minister, to remove them from the program.
Under the aegis of the Ghana Individual Bondholders Forum (IBF), the bondholders charged that President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo and the Finance Minister had betrayed their word and underpaid them.
“Sir, may it never be stated that during your leadership, citizens whose only obligation to the nation was to serve and love it by paying taxes and working hard were made poor by your policies.
“Your DDE, as suggested for individual bondholders, robs us of our right to legitimately obtained property and restricts our ability to self-sustain.” None of them adheres to the principles of good government.
They had given their services so that the government might get out of the economic mess the nation was in.
The Minority in Parliament is urging President Akufo-Addo to immediately halt the program and begin deep engagement in the meantime.
Before considering reintroduction, the caucus recommended that the government organize an economic conversation as part of the engagement.