Pensioner Bondholders have officially stated that they will not participate in the government’s recently introduced Domestic Debt Exchange Programme (DDEP) targeting ESLA and Daakye Bondholders.
During an interview on Eyewitness News, Dr. Adu Anane Antwi, who serves as the Convener for Pensioner Bondholders, clarified that there is no willingness among pensioners to accept the government’s offer.
He made it clear that pensioners have been excluded from the newly announced offer and will not be involved in it.
“No pensioner bondholder can ever be targeted, because we have been exempted totally. We don’t have anything to do with this exchange at all. We are not part of it. There’s no pensioner available now for an offer to be made to, simple as that. There’s nobody in category B who is there for the offer, and says I wanted to go in, but I didn’t have the opportunity to go in so now, I’m going in. So category B shouldn’t be in this document at all.
“The government cannot overturn its own decision to exempt us. It is in the records of parliament, we have a letter, we have been exempted, and it’s not based on any condition, it’s an unconditional exemption. Government cannot go anywhere”.
Dr. Adu Anane strongly criticized the Ministry of Finance for what he perceived as a lack of comprehension regarding the new DDEP. He further stated that they intend to hold a press conference in the near future to provide a thorough and detailed explanation of the matter.
“I believe they [government] didn’t get the understanding well, they haven’t analysed things well. If you analyse the situation, the person who was writing the memorandum of exchange should have known that there were no Category B holders available for that offer. They have already accepted. We will have a press conference and explain to the people who are handling this matter that they are wrong. They didn’t understand the concept well,” the Convener of Pensioner Bondholders said.
Economist Dr. John Gatsi also emphasized that bondholders cannot be obligated to participate in the ESLA and Daakye Trust.
“If there’s any call for people to surrender for Daakye PLC and ESLA, it should not include those who have already indicated that they will not be part. Nobody can be compelled to go into a debt exchange programme. DDEP is a voluntary offer if people refuse to be part, they have not offended any law,” Prof Gatsi stated.
On September 13, the government initiated a new round of invitations to E.S.L.A. Plc and Daakye Trust Plc bondholders, offering them the opportunity to exchange their existing holdings for a new package as part of the domestic debt exchange program.
In a press release issued on the same day, the Ministry of Finance encouraged holders of domestic notes and bonds to actively and willingly consider the invitation and engage in the exchange process.
“The Government announced today September 13, that it is reopening its invitation to the exchange that settled in February 2023 (the “February 2023 Exchange”) and is therefore once again inviting holders of the domestic notes and bonds of the Republic of Ghana, E.S.L.A. Plc and Daakye Trust Plc that are specified in Appendix A attached hereto (the “Eligible Bonds”) to tender their holdings of the Eligible Bonds in exchange for a package of New Tranches (as defined below) of the same new bonds that were issued by the Government (the “New Bonds”) as part of the February 2023 Exchange (such invitation hereinafter referred to as the “Invitation”).”
The Domestic Debt Exchange Programme was introduced in December 2022 with the aim of revitalizing Ghana’s ability to manage its debt obligations.