Debt restructuring: Government is blackmailing investors with fearmongering – Adongo

The Member of Parliament for Bolgatanga Central is accusing the Akufo-Addo government of employing bullying mechanisms to compel local investors to sign the domestic debt exchange programme aimed at salvaging the country’s ailing economy.

Mr Isaac Adongo said instead of the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP) engaging the bondholders in a negotiation it is blackmailing them to forcefully agree to the terms of the programme.

Referencing Gabby Asare Otchere-Darko, a leading member of the NPP and nephew to President Akufo-Addo on Good Morning Ghana on Metro TV that “bonds will be worth nothing if you don’t exchange”, Mr Adongo bemoaned the posture of the government in facilitating the negotiations.

“If you go to court you won’t win because if the court gives judgment, Ghana is like a man of straw. He cannot pay and we don’t take a man of straw to court,” he quoted Gabby again.

The deputy ranking member of the house committee on finance could not establish what is influencing the utterances of key government communicators and state officials amid the present predicament.

“Is that what our suffering is now? That Ghana is now a sovereign of straw who you don’t take it to court because he doesn’t have kobo to give. Is that how to approach this?” the Bolgatanga Central MP wondered.

Adongo’s remarks come at a time when the government has started the initiative to invite bondholders to voluntarily exchange about GH137 billion in domestic notes and bonds of the Republic, including ESLA and Daakye, for a bundle of new bonds in an effort to address the nation’s persistent economic woes.

It is currently unknown how many institutions and individuals have agreed to participate in the initiative.

Since its announcement, the domestic debt exchange programme has received fierce criticism from labour unions, which were successful in exempting pension funds.

Individual bondholders who were included after pension funds were exempted have also spoken out strongly against their inclusion.

The issue has put the government in a difficult position.

By: Bernard Ralph Adams | | Ghana


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