Debt Exchange: Govt is not deliberately creating hardships – Miracles Aboagye

A presidential staffer Dennis Miracles Aboagye has said regarding the Domestic Debt Exchange programme that the government is not seeking to create economic hardships in Ghana.

Speaking on the Key Points on TV3 Saturday, January 20, he said ” I don’t think this government will go out to deliberately create economic hardships for its citizens.”

He added, “Whatever it is, government has to meet every citizen at the point of their needs.”

Also speaking on the same programme, private legal practitioner Martin Kpebu who is a member of the Individual Bondholders Forum said the meeting that they had with the Finance Minister was good for the advocacy they are embarking on against the Domestic Debt Exchange.

They held the meeting with  Mr Oori-Atta on Wednesday, January 18, after which a technical committee was forced to look into the concerns of the bondholders.

Mr Keobu said “The meeting with the finance minister was a big breakthrough in the advocacy. The finance minister bought our argument that gov’t cannot undertake developmental projects at the expense of the citizens.”

The Finance Minister, after the meeting, also said his Ministry expects the joint technical committee to finish its work by 30 January.

He said the government wants to get the programme started as part of moves to resolve the economic challenges.

Speaking to journalists in Accra on Wednesday, January 18 after a crunch meeting with the bondholders under the umbrella body Ghana Individual Bondholders Forum (IBF) on Wednesday, January 18, he said “I think the clarity for all of us is that it is a voluntary programme. We have anticipated maybe getting up to 80 per cent which will still put us under the parameter, so we are asking everybody to really join.

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“The Forum reiterated their concerns which are legitimate concerns for all individuals and for the country at large. In the same way, in which we met members of the Pensions group, we set up a technical committee and they will be meeting immediately [Thursday, January 19], we don’t want to miss the deadline that we have set. We are confident that we will get there.

The clarity for all of us is that it is a voluntary programme, we have anticipated getting up to 80 per cent which will still put us in the parameter so we are asking everybody to join.

“The government continues to be a government that cares for people, lives and livelihoods as we saw in Covid, we protected and going forward too we will protect but also ensure the Community of the Republic crosses the Jordan safely, that is the challenge we have.”

The Individual Bonholders Forum had petitioned the Minister to be excluded from the Programme, which has been scheduled to be rolled out after Tuesday, January 31.

They claimed they have not been adequately engaged by government in an attempt to include their bonds in the Programme.

They accused the government of short-changing them especially as the Programme comes at a time a promise was made there will no haircuts to such investments.

By Laud Nartey|3news.com|Ghana