Suspend debt exchange programme until broader consultations are over – Christian Council to Government

    Rev Prof. J.O.Y Mante- Chairman of Christian Council

    The Christian Council of Ghana has called for a suspension of the domestic debt exchange programme expected to stabilise the country’s debt.

    The Council in a statement dated January 19 signed by its Chairman and Secretary, said it has identified a lapse in the programme which is the lack of consultation with the affected institutions and individuals.

    It has therefore urged the government to engage in broader consultations with the stakeholders before any progress with the programme.

    “After various discussions with some stakeholders on Ghana’s economy, we are convinced that the whole process needs to be suspended until broader consultations have been made.”

    The Council also wants the January 31 deadline suspended for government to rather propose a roadmap for dialogue.

    This they say will enable a participatory process such that the outcome would be a consensus from both sides.

    The statement added that a thorough engagement with stakeholders would help government to appreciate the concerns of the affected individuals and institutions to allow for measures to be outlined to address the challenges.

    The Council further urged the media to be diligent with reportage on the programme and seek opinions of professionals to avoid any panic in the country.

    Meanwhile, the Ministry of Finance has set up a technical committee to further engage individual bondholders on their inclusion in the debt exchange programme.

    This follows a closed-door meeting with leaders of the Individual Bondholders Forum on Wednesday for engagement on the programme.

    During the meeting on Wednesday, the Minister said the programme is a voluntary exercise.

    Mr Ofori-Atta said government anticipates an 80% per cent success rate.

    He noted that the percentage will be enough to keep the economy stable.

    The Minister also disclosed that government will grant some concessions to individual bondholders under the Programme.

    He, however, ruled out any move to abolish the programme or grant total exemption to individual bondholders.

    “We are looking at a situation where maybe the zero coupon for bondholders in 2023 should be changed going forward”, he said in an exclusive interview with Joy Business’ George Wiafe on PM Express Business Edition.

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