The government has appealed to domestic bondholders to sign up for the enhanced Domestic Debt Exchange Programme (DDEP), as the deadline elapses today.
According to the Minister of Finance, Ken Ofori-Atta, the participation of all individuals and groups was crucial for the country’s economic recovery, backed by an approved International Monetary Fund (IMF) programme.
“Frankly, non-participation or a lower-than-expected turnout for the DDEP will prolong efforts to resolve the current economic crisis. In addition, the prospects of international financial support and other financial assurances would be jeopardised.
“This development could further put strain and stress on the government’s capacity to honour key commitments. This is not what we want for our economy”, said a statement signed and issued by the minister in Accra, yesterday
“Let every Ghanaian be encouraged that the DDEP will bring us to a place of stability, economic recovery and transformational growth” it added.
The statement said the government, having listened to the concerns of bondholders, was now offering all individual bondholders who were below the age of 59 years (Category A) instruments with a maximum maturity of five years, instead of 15 years, and a 10 per cent coupon rate.
For all retirees (including those retiring in 2023) (Category A), it said they would get instruments with a maximum maturity of five years, instead of 15 years, and a 15 per cent coupon rate if they signed up.
“The objective of this is to ensure that individuals, especially retirees, who put their hard-earned savings in our domestic market, are not left in hardship as a result of the DDEP and yet contribute to the resolution of our current crisis”, it said.
The statement said the government had been intentional in pushing the threshold in order to safeguard the well-being of pensioners; preserve the savings of individuals; protect the working capital of businesses; ensure the health and stability of our financial sector as well as restore macroeconomic stability.
It said since the first announcement of the DDEP, the government had engaged all groups, in order to reach a resolution that ensures an orderly path out of the country’s economic challenges.
“We know that these are necessary pre-conditions for creating jobs, safeguarding, and enhancing incomes, fostering inclusive growth, and restoring hope to Ghanaians”, it said.
According to the statement, the government had resolved to continue to undertake all necessary fiscal adjustments that would ensure that our sacrifices will pay off and the collective good is upheld.
“Let each and everyone play their part. These are difficult times, no doubt, but if we hold on together, we can and we will emerge from this more resilient and more united than before. Then we shall, together, continue rebuilding our economy again; and enable businesses to thrive again; and bring back hope and cheer to our homes again” it said.
Ghana in December last year reached a staff-level agreement with the IMF on economic policies and reforms to be supported by a new three-year arrangement under an Extended Credit Facility (ECF) of about US$3 billion.
The approval by IMF management and the Executive Board in the period ahead is contingent on receiving financing assurances from Ghana’s partners and creditors.
Ghana is targeting to get 80 per cent participation in the DDE programme, which deadline has been shifted three times, to continue processes to get the approval by March this year.