Individual Bond Holders Forum Petitions Parliament Over Debt Restructuring

A group identified as Ghana Individual Bondholders Forum has pleaded with Parliament to exclude delete its members from the government’s domestic debt exchange programme.

The Forum joins other groups asking the government to rescind from its decision to give individual bondholders a ‘haircut’ under the debt restructuring initiative.

It is made up of persons holding investments in the Government of Ghana’s Local Cedi Bonds, Government of Ghana’s Local USD Bonds, ESLA PLC Bonds, Daakye Bonds, Ghana Eurobonds, and Collective investment schemes with investments in the above securities.

The group said the announcement of the programme, “has been extremely unsettling and catastrophic for our membership” and are demanding that they are excluded.

Just as in the case of other individuals and unions kicking against the programme, the Individual Bondholder’s Forum hold its members were not consulted prior to the announcement of the programme.

This magazine gathered, over 10,000 bondholders have signed up to campaign against the controversial debt swap, calling on Parliament to save the 1.3 million Ghanaian individual bondholders who have been shortchanged in the domestic debt exchange programme.

They explained, “We are unaware of any Parliamentary approvals, directly or indirectly that the managers of the DDE have been granted to make unilateral decisions over financial arrangements originally clad with binding contracts.

“If that was the case, your office would have invoked the principles of fair and impartial hearing for both parties, in this case, Individual Bondholders and assigns of the DDE programme to justify their positions.

“Suffice to say, this has been the basic approach adopted in other jurisdictions that ever dealt with creditors in a domestic debt exchange programme. Parliaments by their truly representative nature will not only consider the overall national interest however precarious, but will also ensure citizens are protected from capricious decisions by the executive.

“The Parliament of Ghana may have been liberal when it comes to approving expansionary national budgets even in the face of austerity. However, we are also aware that it does not take kindly to being sidestepped by the executive especially when it senses evasion of accountability. Sirs, let it not be said ever that during your leadership, you looked on when your constituents whose primary duty to country was service and love through hard work and taxes were impoverished by executive fiat. Your constituents should never ever be afraid of their representatives. Save them.

“Finally, we wish to state that within our group are persons who possess technical and policy skills and are willing to assist government explore viable options without catastrophically impairing the interest of Individual Bondholders,” excerpts of the petition observed.

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