The New Patriotic Party (NPP) has appealed to the government to exempt holders of smaller bonds, particularly Pensioners, from the ongoing Debt Exchange Programme.
According to the party, it continues to be “inundated with concerns” from affected Ghanaians, thus the need for a critical look at the issue.
The General Secretary of the NPP, Justin Koduah Frimpong, made the appeal to the Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta, when the latter embarked on a visit to the party’s headquarters, Asylum Down, Accra, last Friday.
In a related development, the Member of Parliament for Nsawam/Adoagyiri, Frank Annoh-Domporeh, has also added his voice to the advocacy for the exemption of individual bond holders. He described the inclusion of the individual bondholders as unfair and untenable.
“The Finance Minister (Ministry) must, as a matter of urgency, review as soon as possible, its decision and resolution on individual bond holders. I don’t agree with them, and I think it’s unfair and untenable! Review your decision now,” the Majority Chief Whip tweeted.
Already, some affected bond holders have threatened to sue the government, with today being the deadline to sign onto the programme.
At the meeting the party executives, Ofori-Atta admitted that Ghana was plagued with difficult socio-economic conditions in 2022, as skyrocketing inflation and high interest rates triggered a cost of living crisis.
He, however, noted that the Ministry of Finance is determined to achieve macroeconomic stabilisation to provide an enabling environment for businesses to thrive and also enhance the living conditions of the general populace.
He recounted the unprecedented economic feat in the first term of the Akufo-Addo administration, which made Ghana one of the fastest-growing economies in the world.
Mr. Ofori-Atta noted that the socioeconomic foundation that was laid by the Akufo-Addo administration was intended to usher Ghana into a new dawn of sustainable economic growth and prosperity.
He, however, observed that the devastating and lingering impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war on the local economy have occasioned challenges for businesses and individuals alike.
He assured that the government is determined to get the economy back on track and rallied the leadership of the party to support the government’s remedial interventions aimed at reviving the economy.
He asserted that the government’s Extended Credit Facility agreement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) would energise and stabilise the local economy.
Moreover, he assured the leadership of the party that the government has no intention to cancel the flagship free Senior High School Programme as it remains an important social safety net for the majority of Ghanaians.
In his concluding remarks, the Minister for Finance thanked the party leadership for the warm reception and commended them for their wise counsel.
He further urged the party leadership to put in place adequate guidelines to ensure the smooth conduct of its parliamentary and presidential primaries, as that is critical to the party’s quest to win a historic third consecutive general election (break the eight).
ABOUT THE VISIT
It was a response to the Party-Government Engagements initiative introduced by the leadership of the party, aimed at bridging the gap between government appointees and various stakeholders of the party.
He was warmly received by the national executives of the party, led by Chairman Stephen Ayesu Ntim.
In his welcome address, Mr. Ntim disclosed that the Party-Government engagements were introduced due to the urgent need for broader collaboration between government appointees and party stakeholders in preparation for the 2024 general elections.