Nerves that Debt Exchange has generated are understandable – Ahiagbah

The fears and concerns associated with the announcement and launch of the Debt Exchange programme are understandable, Director of Communications for the New Patriotic Party (NPP) Mr Richard Ahiagbah has said.

Stakeholders including the Ghana Medical Association (GMA), the Ghana National Union of Traders Association (GUTA), the Trades Union Congress (TUC) have all rejected the debt exchange programme that was launched by the Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta on Monday December 6.

For instance, GNAT issued a word of warning to the government not to dare touch any funds meant for its members, both active and retired.

The Association said not only will such a move to touch teachers’ investment funds be suicidal, but also it will throw the country into industrial disturbances.

This caution was contained in a statement issued by the Association on Wednesday, December 7.

The statement is in reaction to the recent announcement by the Minister of Finance, Ken Ofori-Atta, about a new Debt Exchange Programme in efforts to save the ailing economy.

Under the Programme, domestic bondholders will be asked to exchange their instruments for new ones.

But GNAT has served notice that it is not interested in any exchange whatsoever.

“Pursuant to this, we wish to state unequivocally that we are not interested in any exchange of domestic notes and bonds of the Republic, be it ESLA Plc, Daakye Trust Plc and our stance is non-negotiable,” the statement signed by GNAT’s General Secretary, Thomas Tanko Musah, indicated.

The Association said it has high interest in the domestic bond market as a result of investments like the Teachers Fund, Tier-3 Pension Scheme and the Ghana Education Service Occupational Pension Scheme (GESOPS) done for its members.

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Government, in launching the Programme on Monday, December 5, rallied for “support” and “understanding” to make it successful.

But GNAT, in rejecting this, said the investment schemes were made to “make our members live meaningful lives”.

“We wish to make it clear to the Government of Ghana, that it should address the economic challenges facing the country not at the expense of the Ghanaian workers and the general population.

“Prudence in government expenditure, thrift, reduction in size of government, among others could all go to address Ghana’s economic woes.”

Commenting on this in a tweet, Mr Ahiagbah said “The nerves that the debt exchange program has generated are understandable, but as its full length becomes manifest it should become possible for us to turn the nerves into positive energy to drive the attainment of macroeconomic stability soonest.”

By Laud Nartey||Ghana