The Government has assured persons who decided not to participate in the Domestic Debt Exchange Programme (DDEP) that their outstanding coupon payments and maturing principals will be paid.
The government further assured Ghanaians of its full commitment to addressing all issues of additional input made by various stakeholders during the DDEP engagement to further streamline Government’s expenditures.
“The Government would like to reassure all individual bondholders who elected not to participate that your coupon payments and maturing principals, like all Government bonds, will be honoured in line with Government fiscal commitments,” government said in a statement issued by the Ministry of Finance on Tuesday, February 14, 2023.
The Government’s Domestic Debt Exchange Program officially closed on Friday, February 10, 2023.
Subsequently, government announced that the programme recorded over 80 percent participation of eligible bonds.
In a statement, the government thanked the people of Ghana for their “forbearance and support throughout these very difficult times.”
This statement from government comes after the Individual Bondholders’ Forum on Monday called on the government to honour all coupon and principal payments due bondholders with bonds not tendered into the Domestic Debt Exchange Programme.
In a statement, Convener Senyo Hosi reminded the Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta, that payment of coupons and principal for bonds that matured since February 6 to date remain outstanding.
In the letter, the individual bondholders stated that honouring payments on due bonds will re-engineer public and investor confidence and trust in the activities of the Finance Ministry.
The government introduced the domestic debt exchange programme to buy time to honour its fiscal obligations in servicing its debt as a result of the economic challenges.
Government expressed fear that the country’s economy is likely to shut down without the debt exchange programme.
“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 contributions have gotten your country much closer to securing the IMF programme,” the Finance Ministry added in the statement.
The country’s debt stock hit GH¢575 billion in November 2022 accounting for 93.5 percent of the country’s total GDP. The debt restructuring programme forms part of the requirements for the Government of Ghana to secure a $3 billion bailout package from the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
Government has already secured a staff-level agreement awaiting the IMF Board’s approval.
By Vincent Kubi
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