The Minister of Finance Ken Ofori-Atta has said although the country is going through economic challenges, the Akufo-Addo administration has managed to pay compensation to workers and also kept the lights on for both domestic and commercial purposes.
He also said the government has maintained security despite the heightened and increasing risk.
“The government paid compensation for workers, kept the lights on, and maintained security despite heightened and increasing risk,” he told Parliament while briefing the House on the Domestic Debt Exchange Programme on Thursday, February 16.
Mr Ofori-Atta further told the House that Ghana’s debt situation was compounded by the lingering effect of the Covid-19 outbreak and also the Russia-Ukraine war.
He also said the government was unable to generate enough revenue domestically.
“The current state of our debt has to do with the lingering effect of Covid, Russia-Ukraine war,” he said.
“Also the low levels of revenue collected by got in 2022,” he added.
The government extended the Settlement Date of the Exchange from the previously announced 14th February 2023 to 21st February in the DDEP.
This is to provide sufficient time to settle the New Bonds in an efficient manner, a statement issued by the Ministry of Finance said on Tuesday, February 14.
“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”, the statement indicated.
The Ministry earlier expressed gratitude to all bondholders who voluntarily participated in the DDEP.
The Programme closed on Friday, February 10 after multiple deadlines.
The Minister of Finance, Ken Ofori-Atta, had targeted over 80 percent participation amid agitations among individual bondholders and some Senior Citizens, who sought exemption from the Programme.
“The Government’s Domestic Debt Exchange Programme (DDEP) closed on Friday 10th February 2023 with over 80% participation of eligible bonds,” opened a statement issued by the Ministry of Finance on Tuesday, February 14.
“The Government wants to thank the people of Ghana for their forbearance and support throughout these very difficult times.”
It said by the participation of the voluntary bondholders after the closure of the Programme on Friday, the country has inched closer towards securing the $3billion extended credit facility (ECF) from the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
“The DDEP is being done to help protect the economy and enhance our capacity to service our public debts effectively.
“The alternative of not executing the DDEP would have brought grave disorder in the servicing of our national debt and exacerbated the current economic crisis.
“The Government is, therefore, grateful for the overwhelming participation of all bondholders.
“Your support and contribution has gotten your country much closer to securing the IMF programme.”
It asked individual bondholders, particularly pensioners, who did not participate in the Programme, to be rest assured that their coupon payments and maturing principals will be honoured in line with laid-down rules.
By Laud Nartey|3news.com|Ghana
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