Otumfuo Breaks Silence Over Debt Exchange Programme
Asantehene Otumfuo Osei Tutu II has for the first time since the announcement of the Domestic Debt Exchange Programme (DDEP), shared his highly needed opinion.
The Finance Minister announced a debt exchange programme in December 2022 as the only way to bring the country’s debt to sustainable level and succeed at getting a bailout from the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
The government of Ghana is seeking a US$3 billion bailout after being locked out of the capital market- Ghana’s major source of revenue- in 2022.
With the DDEP, domestic bondholders were asked to exchange their instruments for new ones.
The programme was hit by a series of protests from stakeholders forcing the deadline for enrolment to be postponed several times.
In February, when the final deadline elapsed, the Finance Ministry said it had recorded more than 80% enrolment.
Reacting to it during the 56th Congregation of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) on March 17, 2023, the King decried the government’s failure to embark on broader consultation with stakeholders.
“Our debt level as a country has become unsustainable pushing the government to roll out the Domestic Debt Exchange Programme that aims to restructure the nation’s domestic debt and ensure some fiscal space for the country to operate. Sadly, it appears public consultations did not take place before the programme commenced. The nation is currently in a tense mode even though the government has announced the completion of the Domestic Debt Exchange Programme.”
He further called for transparency and tolerance on the part of the government for the interest of the country.
“In order to produce outcomes that will be in the best interest of everyone and promote peace and development, I want to implore government to demonstrate a high level of transparency and be candid in these difficult times in order to win the trust and confidence of the general public. Government should be more accommodating and reach out to those who may even be opposed to them politically.”
He asserted that the interest of the country must be prioritised to save the economy from collapsing.
Source: opemsuo.com/Hajara Fuseini