The Finance Ministry has failed to honour its promise to pay matured coupons to members of the Pensioner Bondholders Forum, who are threatening to resume their protest from May 29.
The Forum is a group of retired workers who invested their pension funds in government bonds. They were exempted from the government’s Domestic Debt Exchange Programme (DDEP), which aimed to restructure Ghana’s domestic debt and reduce its interest burden.
The Forum had suspended its picketing on May 12 after meeting with the Finance Ministry and agreeing on a payment plan for their outstanding coupons and principals. However, they claim that the government has only paid some coupons up to May 8 and left out the May 15 payment and subsequent maturities.
Dr. Adu Anane Antwi, the Convener of the Forum, told Citi News that they have not heard anything from the government since then and they are running out of patience. He said they will not accept any more assurances or promises from the government if they resume their picketing.
“We are fighting for our coupons and payments. From March 1, some people said they have received their coupons on the first one while others said on the 5th one. We don’t know which ones they are paying. If they had started paying March 3 and March 5 that is the payment they have started paying. From that time will be about two months and over in arrears. They haven’t said anything and that is the worrying situation,” he lamented.
The government has been struggling to meet its domestic debt obligations amid a fiscal crisis worsened by the COVID-19 pandemic. It has sought help from Japan and other bilateral partners to secure a $3 billion extended credit facility from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) by mid-2022.