An aggrieved pensioner bondholder is cautioning Minister of Finance Ken Ofori-Atta of dire consequences even in the afterlife if he continues with plans to include their funds in the Domestic Debt Exchange Programme (DDEP).
The unnamed bondholder was among hundreds of pensioners who started picketing at the premises of the Ministry of Finance early this week to protest Ofori-Atta’s plans.
He told the Ghana News Agency that if himself and others are ‘forced’ to die without getting back their monies, they will exact vengeance on the minister when they meet in the afterlife.
“If we die ahead of him and we go and get a post in the afterlife, his ghost / soul will weed forever … we won’t spare him, if you stress us here, you will come and meet us in the afterlife. You (if you like) don’t give us our money and let us die.”
He continued that if the Minister does the right thing by giving them their monies, “and we spend it and die, we wouldn’t have any issues with you. We know we all came to this world, we won’t do any thing to you.
“If you do the opposite, and you force us to die and we get a position at the other side, you will see no rest,” he stated in Twi.
Ofori-Atta met with the picketing senior civil servants and explained why the government needed to include them in the DDEP. He said Ghana risked economic collapse if the programme failed.
On their part, a representative said the insistence to include pensioners will have negative implications including affecting their cost of medication and other short to medium and long term plans.
Meanwhile, the February 7, 2023 deadline for the DDEP of the Government of Ghana has been extended by three extra days over 'technical glitches.'
The Ministry of Finance announced the development via a press release which read in part: "In connection with the ongoing Domestic Debt Exchange Programme (DDEP), the Government of Ghana thanks all bondholders who have so far tendered their bonds.
"However, it has come to the attention of Government that some bondholders faced technical glitches as they tried to complete the online tender process."
The statement added: "Government is providing bondholders with a window to complete processes for tendering their bonds, in response to the terms of Exchange as amended pursuant to the 2nd Amended and Restated Exchange Memorandum. This window ends on Friday, 10th February 2023 at 4:00 p.m. (GMT)."
The release dated February 7 was signed by Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta.
This becomes the fourth extension since the first announcement was made in December 2022.
"The timetable of the Exchange is not otherwise affected by this, except for the Announcement Date which is now expected to occur on Monday, 13th February 2023.
"The settlement of the Exchange is still scheduled for Tuesday, 14th February 2023. Except as set forth in this paragraph, the terms and conditions of the Exchange are not modified or amended."
The DDEP is part of conditionalities by government to access an International Monetary Fund bailout. The government is aiming to achieve IMF Board approval by March after sealing a Staff-Level Agreement in December 2022.
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