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Aggrieved pensioner bondholders vow not to stop picketing until coupons are released to them

Disgruntled pensioner bondholders have vowed not to stop picketing until government releases their coupons to them.

Convener of the Pension Bondholders Forum, Dr Adu Anane Antwi said pensioners will not stop picketing at the Finance Ministry until closure is brought to the matter.

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According to Dr. Anane Antwi, pension bondholders will resume picketing on Friday, June 2, to demand payment of what is owed them.

He, however, stated that the Forum will give the Ministry a breathing period of three days starting from Monday, June 5 to Wednesday, June 7 for the Ministry to commence the payment.

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The former Director-General of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), says the pensioners will however converge on the Ministry on Thursday if nothing reflects in their accounts by the grace period given.

“We are expecting actual payment so while the payment starts, we will stop picketing. Until we see something, that is the decision we have taken. Until we see payment nothing will move us from here because we have done it. We have moved on it based on these promises and it is not coming.

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“Within the week, every Monday a coupon or two will mature … so if the coupon matures on Monday, we won’t stop. We think that if the government wants to pay, we will see a sign. If by Wednesday we haven’t seen a sign, then we take it that government is unable to pay and then we come here on Thursday,” he noted.

His comment was in response to a Deputy Minister for Finance, Abena Osei-Asare’s plea with the Forum to suspend their picketing at the Ministry.

The Atiwa East MP said the Ministry was engaging the Bank of Ghana (BoG) to pay them. 

She thus asked the pensioners to exercise patience with the government as everyone knows the financial difficulties the government finds itself in.

“We don’t intentionally stop them, sometimes it’s difficult, it is the ability to pay and so when it is not there it becomes a challenge. But, we also have to communicate that to you. So, for now, our focus should be on the five outstanding, and then we talk about how we will manage the principal payment.“

“I sincerely appreciate where you are coming from. This has never happened when coupons are ready for payment and the government is struggling to pay, but currently, we all know the circumstances we find ourselves in, so I will plead with you that let’s sit and clear, and then we will see the way forward,” she appealed.

Members of the Forum resumed their picketing on Thursday, June 1, over the government’s failure to pay their matured coupons. 

Meanwhile, the Finance Ministry has scheduled a meeting with leaders of the Forum on Friday to discuss the way forward.

But the pensioners insist on gathering while their leadership engages the Ministry.

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