Former Chief Justice, Sophia Akuffo, is livid over inclusion of pension funds in government’s Domestic Debt Exchange Programme (DDEP).
Sophia Akuffo who joined a group of pensioners to picket at the Finance Ministry on Friday, February 10, 2023, slammed the government for messing up the economy and attempting to “forcibly” include their pension funds in the debt restructuring exercise without accountability and engagement.
She described the move by the government as “sheer wickedness and outright disrespect to the elderly who have sacrificed their lives for the development of the nation.”
Madam Sophia Akuffo asked government to be transparent and tell Ghanaians what led to the current economic crisis and what all the loans were used for.
“The Minister of Finance better go back to the drawing board and come up with a better proposal otherwise nobody is going to agree to it. I am encouraging people not to agree with it. A contract is a contract, and it must be respected and if you want to renegotiate come to the table with humility and come with a ‘yesable’ proposal,” the 73-year-old said.
Ghana’s total public debt stock has shot up to GH¢575.7 billion at the end of November 2022, according to new data released by the Bank of Ghana.
The new debt figure brings Ghana’s debt to Gross Domestic Product (GDP) ratio to 93.5% from 75.9% in September 2022.
The country is currently facing an economic crisis and the government is seeking a $3 billion bailout package from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to enable it restructure the economy.
Government is thus restructuring its debt in a bid to secure the IMF programme by introducing haircuts on bonds and other investment securities.
This move has been widely resisted by those affected. The deadline for signing up for the programme was extended three times.