Former Deputy Finance Minister Mona Quartey, has expressed her disappointment with the government’s Economic Management Team.
According to her the team has not been transparent, especially in their dealings with the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
“I usually do not like to make such categorical statements, but this Economic Management Team has failed our nation miserably by being so opaque, not being transparent, not discussing and informing people exactly what is going on with the IMF programme.
Touching on the debt restructuring programme announced by the Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta, she said although some economic experts saw it coming, government officials denied it.
“We knew that they did not pass the debt sustainability assessment requirement and we kept talking about debt restructuring and that it would happen. They kept saying no and now here it is in a form or fashion that it is asking more questions than giving answers,” she said.
Ms. Quartey noted that the debt restructuring programme does not give any assurance of a better tomorrow.
“I am not sure that the government itself is guaranteeing us that this pain will result in a turnaround for the nation long after they have gone and left Ghanaians in the dust, because 2028 and those years that they refer to, are years by which time there would be other ruling parties or government may be in place and they will be gone and other people have to bear the consequences,” she said.
Ms. Quartey said the news came as a surprise because there were no consultations whatsoever with institutions and individuals who would be affected.
“There has not been any real consultation with debt instrument holders and we all know that many of us, Ghanaians, hold some of these instruments. There has been no conversation with any of us, on how that is going to be done,” she said.
She recalled that President Akufo-Addo in his address to the nation mentioned that there would be no ‘haircuts’. A statement which later saw “so many adjustments” such as no ‘haircuts’ on principal.
Speaking on JoyNews’ The Pulse on Tuesday, she explained that it was unacceptable for a contract to be changed mid-stream.
Thus, it “sends signals even to our own people that when we sell them ‘risk-free’ treasury bills and bonds this is what can happen to it. Which has medium to long term implications which is not good for this nation.”
It would be recalled that on December 4, the Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta announced the government’s domestic debt exchange programme. These measures include some exemptions and external debt restructuring parameters that will be implemented.
Per his release, treasury bills and individual bondholders will not be affected by this exercise. However, domestic bondholders will be compelled to exchange their instruments for new ones.
“Existing domestic bonds as of December 1, 2022, will be exchanged for a set of four new bonds maturing in 2027, 2029, 2032 and 2037,” he said.
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