Members of the Individual bondholders Forum have notified the Police of their intention to start picketing at the Finance Ministry from Monday, February 20.
Convenor of the forum, Markin Kpebu, revealed that he notified the Police on Tuesday, February 14. He explained that an amount of GHS4.2 billion of bonds that are matured have not been paid by the government.
Mr Kpebu indicated that the move is creating anxieties among the bondholders.
“I was with the Police to notify them about our plan to picket starting Monday February 20.”Martin Kpebu
Mr Kpebu lamented that government has broken its promise to honor all existing bonds. This, is contrary to finance minister, Ken Ofori-Atta’s promise of honoring payments of coupons and matured principals to all non-participating bondholders.
“Our members are having sleepless nights, palpitations, anger etc. The bonds matured on the 6th of February but as we speak now we have not been paid.”Martin Kpebu
Elsewhere, Mr Kpebu revealed that the government’s domestic debt exchange programme has been a rude political awakening to most middle class Ghanaians.
According to him, the middle class, who are fond of staying on the fence in issues of national discourse, have had no choice but to take a stand against the government’s debt treatment following their inclusion in the exercise.
He noted that the debt treatment has afforded this section of Ghanaians a chance to re-evaluate their stance on their participation in national discourse.
“So, it means that in the process people have had a rude political awakening and you see it has provided a fine opportunity for us to now evaluate our participation in our own governance. So having learnt the lesson the hard way, I foresee that moving forward, our society won’t be the same because now people are feeling it directly.”Martin Kpebu
Meanwhile, the government has extended the Settlement Date of the Exchange from the previously announced 14th February 2023 to 21st February in the Domestic Debt Exchange Programme (DDEP).
According to the government, the move is to give it adequate time to properly process the settlement of the new bonds.
“To provide sufficient time to settle the New Bonds in an efficient manner, the Government is extending the Settlement Date of the Exchange from the previously announced 14th February 2023 to 21st February 2023.”Finance ministry
Government extends settlement date for new bonds
The finance ministry in a statement noted that the issue date, interest accrual schedules and payment schedules for the new bonds will be adjusted to reflect the actual settlement date. Also, it indicated that no new tenders will be accepted, and no revocations or withdrawals are permitted following the expiration of the exchange period.
Additionally, the government announced the results of the Domestic Debt Exchange Programme (DDEP) which closed on February 10, 2023.
The Ministry of Finance revealed that it has successfully swapped GHC82,994,510,128 worth of old bonds from a possible GH₵C97,749,624,691 under the programme. The amount represents an 84.91% success rate exceeding the Finance Ministry’s intended target of an 80 percent participation rate.
“The government is pleased with the results, as a substantial majority of the eligible holders have tendered.”Ministry of Finance
In addition, the government is modifying the six-month “clear market” provision of the new bonds as set forth in the Exchange Memorandum to clarify that such clear market provision will not limit the Government from issuing Domestic Public Indebtedness in connection with liability management exercises involving exchanges or similar exercises that do not involve the issuance of Domestic Public Indebtedness for cash consideration.