All pensioners who did not offer their old bonds for new ones under the Domestic Debt Exchange Scheme (DDEP) have been exempted from the program, according to the Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta.
Addressing Parliament regarding the status of the domestic debt exchange program, Mr. Ofori-Atta said pensioners shouldn’t be worried because all of their coupons will be honored when maturity is due.
“Government remains committed to the wellbeing of our senior citizens. It has caused me great distress that a number of them [pension bondholders] have picketed at the premises of the Finance Ministry since Monday, I have said that government will honour their coupons…all pensioners who didn’t participate in the debt exchange are exempted.”
The Pensioners have been picketing over the last weeks demanding a total exemption from the government’s Domestic Debt Exchange Programme.
The group has also stated that it will continue to picket at the Finance Ministry until the government heeds their demand by officially communicating to them that their investments have been exempted from the DDEP.
The Finance Minister in a statement to confirm the official closing of the Exchange Programme on Monday, February 13, revealed that it has successfully swapped GH₵82,994,510,128 worth of old bonds from a possible GH₵ 97,749,624,691 under the domestic debt exchange programme.
According to the government, the amount represents an 84.91% success rate exceeding its intended target of an 80 percent participation rate.
But some financial analysts have raised questions about the government’s participation rate.
Economist and Political Risk Analyst, Dr Theo Acheampong in a post raised doubts about the figures presented and further wondered if the government was being transparent with its accounting to Ghanaians.
The vice president, in charge of research at IMANI Centre for Policy and Education, Bright Simons also suggested that claims by the government that it has achieved an 85 percent participation rate may not be entirely accurate.
In a lengthy article, Bright Simons stated that at best using the initial GH¢137 billion of bonds that were tradeable, the government has only achieved a 60 or 61 percent participation.