Members of the Pensioner Bondholders Forum have on Monday, May 15, 2023, suspended their picketing at the Ministry of Finance.
This comes after the Forum reached an agreement with Mohammed Amin Adam, Minister of State responsible for Finance on the payment of outstanding coupons and principals of pensioners.
In a press release sighted by GhanaWeb Business, the Forum said, “The Ministry and Pensioner Bondholders to, in the next few days, meet and reach an agreement on the payment of all outstanding principals to pensioners. As a result of the agreement reached with the Ministry on the payment of outstanding coupons and principals to pensioners, we are hereby suspending our picketing from Monday, May 15, 2023.”
Since Monday, May 8, 2023, some members of the Pensioner Bondholders Forum picketed the Ministry of Finance over government’s failure to honour its agreement to pay bondholders after they were exempted from the Domestic Debt Exchange Programme (DDEP).
According to them, every country holds pensioners in high esteem but the case is different in Ghana.
Conveyed at the premises of the Ministry of Finance, the pensioners are wielding placards with different inscriptions on them.
The Forum also noted that they need their monies for medications and other financial obligations.
Below is the full statement:
SUSPENSION OF PICKETING THE MINISTRY OF FINANCE
1. Following delays in the payment of coupons and matured principals to pensioners exempted by the government from the Domestic Debt Exchange Programme, we submitted a letter to the Finance Minister on 30th March 2023, and advised that pensioners be paid all their outstanding coupons and principals by 21st April 2023, and make payments of subsequent coupons and principals as and when due, and without delays.
2. At the time of writing our letter of 30th March 2023, there were thirteen (13) coupons and two (2) principals in arrears with the earliest due amount being in arrears for thirty-eight (38) days.
3. We advised in our letter of 30th March 2023, which was copied to the Speaker of Parliament that if the anomalous situation we were complaining about was not resolved by 21st April 2023, we shall be left with no other option than to resume picketing the Ministry to further press home our demand for the payment of all coupons and principals in arrears, and an end to payment delays.
4. In a meeting with the Ministry on 14th April 2023, we extended the deadline given to 28th April 2023 to allow the Ministry an additional one week to resolve the delayed payments.
5. The Minister failed to make any payment to us by 28th April 2023, so we notified the police and resumed our picketing on 8th May 2023.
6. On Friday, 12th May 2023, which was the fifth (5th) day of the picketing, we had a meeting with Hon. Mohammed Amin Adam, the Minister of State of the Ministry in the afternoon, and agreed on the following:
i. The Ministry to give instructions for the payment of all outstanding coupons (including those due on 15th May 2023) to pensioners by 15th May 2023.
ii. The Ministry to pay subsequent coupons to pensioners on due days.
iii. The Ministry and Pensioner Bondholders to, in the next few days, meet and reach an agreement on the payment of all outstanding principals to pensioners.
7. As a result of the agreement reached with the Ministry on the payment of outstanding coupons and principals to pensioners, we are hereby suspending our picketing from Monday, 15th May 2023.
8. Should the Ministry renege on any of the agreed points, we shall resume picketing the Ministry.