Govt extends Domestic Debt Exchange deadline for 3rd time

The government has extended the deadline for the Debt Exchange Programme to Tuesday, January 31, to enable it to build consensus for the programme.

This is the third time the government has extended the deadline for the bondholders to voluntarily exchange their bonds for new ones.

It is currently unclear how many institutions or individuals have signed onto the programme which has been rejected by several groups.

In the government’s quest to address the country’s ongoing economic challenges, it launched the programme to invite holders of bonds to voluntarily exchange approximately GH¢137 billion domestic notes and bonds of the Republic including ESLA and Daakye for a package of new bonds.

The domestic debt exchange program since its announcement has faced huge opposition from labour groups which managed to get pension funds exempted. Other groups including the Individual Bondholders Association have also rejected the programme.

The extension comes after the Majority Leader, Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu called on the Finance Minister to undertake extensive consultations on the debt exchange programme to allow bondholders better understand their options.

Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu also revealed that Parliament was not presented with the details of the Domestic Debt Exchange Programme before the announcement by the Minister of Finance, Ken Ofori-Atta.

The Suame MP speaking on the Citi Breakfast Show on Monday, January 16, said there were broad discussions about the economy, but they did not have the details of the debt exchange programme.

“There were meetings before the budget came to be consummated and later on presented by the Finance Minister. So we had broad discussions, but the details were not known to us at the time, but some consultations went on as to where exactly we were as a nation. But I am not too sure that this matter came up for discussion maybe the broad strokes were mentioned but not the details,” Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu told host Bernard Avle.