Economic crisis: Be circumspect; we’re in this together – Ofori-Atta to media

The Minister for Finance, Ken Ofori-Atta, has admonished the media to be circumspect and disseminate the right information regarding the current economic crisis and the government’s debt exchange programme in order not to create unnecessary panic among investors.

Mr Ofori-Atta speaking at the launch of Ghana’s Domestic Debt Exchange on Monday, December 5, 2022, said the government will rely on the media for education hence the need for the media to provide the public with the right information.

“This debt exchange provides an orderly way to put our economy back on track. These efforts will be complemented by fiscal measures to protect the neediest and most vulnerable in society. The Government expects overwhelming support for this exchange.

“And in truth, the success of this necessary endeavour depends, of course, upon the public’s cooperation. That will also mean the media being helpful in disseminating the right information to economic actors. We are all in this together and we intend to get out of this together,”Mr Ofori-Atta said.

Mr Ofori-Atta added that with the help of the media and the support of Ghanaians, he is confident the country will overcome these current challenges and emerge with a much more resilient and robust economy.

“We have overcome various challenges in the past. We are a resilient society…together we can beat this,”

Mr Ofori-Atta also reiterated that there will be no “haircut” on the principal of bonds and that individuals with government bonds will have their full investments on maturity.

In an address on Sunday, the Finance Minister said “Treasury Bills are completely exempted, and all holders will be paid the full value of their investments on maturity. There will be no haircut on the principal of bonds. Individual holders of bonds will not be affected,” he said in an address on Sunday evening.

He noted that the government has concluded the broad contours of the debt sustainability analysis and details on Ghana’s domestic debt exchange will be launched on Monday, December 5, 2022.

He however said the external debt restructuring parameters will be presented in due course.

He said the government recognizes that Ghana’s financial institutions hold a substantial proportion of these bonds, “as such, the potential impact of this exchange on the financial sector has been assessed by their respective regulators. Working together, these regulators have put in place appropriate measures and safeguards to minimize the potential impact on the financial sector and to ensure that financial stability is preserved.”

“Specifically, the Bank of Ghana, the Securities & Exchange Commission, the National Insurance Commission, and the National Pensions Regulatory Authority will ensure that the impact of the debt operation on your financial institution is minimized, using all regulatory tools available to them.”