Catholic Bishops asks govt to engage more with pensioners over DDEP

The Ghana Catholic Bishops Conference has urged the government to engage in talks with the Pensioner Bondholders Forum in order to secure their support for the domestic debt exchange programme.

The group has been picketing at the Finance Ministry in recent days, demanding total exemption from the domestic debt exchange programme, despite the government’s proposal of a 15% coupon rate at 5 years maturity.

In an interview with Citi News, President of the Ghana Catholic Bishop Conference Most Reverend Matthew Kwasi Gyamfi stated that everyone must contribute their fair share as the country works to overcome its current economic challenges.

“The method the government used in appealing to the people is very important. Ghanaians are very understanding. They understand the issue and how it came about is not what we are looking at now. This is the situation, but how do we get out of it? Communicate, dialogue and let them understand the danger. Ghanaians are good-natured. That is our appeal. What the pensioners are going is just a natural human reaction, so I believe the government should have discussions with them.”

The Pensioner Bondholders Forum has announced that its members will picket at Parliament next Tuesday to witness the debate between members of the House and the Finance Ministry.

Members of the forum have also stated that they will continue to picket at the Finance Ministry until the government addresses their concerns about exempting their investments from the domestic debt exchange programme.

Dr. Adu Anane Antwi, Convener of the Pensioners Bondholders Forum, told Citi News that the forum is eager to hear the Finance Minister’s response to Parliament on Tuesday.

“If we have the strength which we pray to God that we should always have, we will continuously be at the Ministry until that total exemption is granted. The only day we will not be there is Tuesday when the Minister is supposed to appear before Parliament. We are going to be in Parliament to see and hear for ourselves what he will tell Parliament and what the response and reaction of Parliament will be.”