The Minister of Finance, Ken Ofori-Atta, has appealed to Individual Pension Bondholders to accept the current 15% coupon rate offered by government.
The Minister was addressing the leadership of the Individual Pension Bondholders who picketed the Ministry this morning to demand a total exemption from the Domestic Debt Exchange Programme (DDEP).
According to the Finance Minister, government has “carefully evaluated all your bonds. We have realised that most of you have an average coupon rate of 18.5%, and some of your bonds will reach maturity beyond 5 years. We all know we are in economic crisis and these bonds could run at zero percent if we do not secure an IMF deal.”
“So, that is why instead of running at zero percent, we have given you 15% out of the 18%. It means what we are struggling over right now is the difference of 3.5%,” he added.
He continued that, “what we are asking you to do for us right now is the appeal for you to accept this term. We can only help each other so that we are able to get an IMF deal by March. So right now, we have reached a point we can only say that ‘boame na me mboa wo’ (help me, let me help you).
Responding to the Minister, a member of the Individual Pension Bondholders Forum, Kokui Adzo Adu said they simply cannot accept the terms.
“Mr Minister, the reason why we are fighting for this 3.5% is because we are vulnerable people. Most of us have planned our lives around these bonds. In fact, for some of us, our bonds will be fully matured today. So to push them to the next five years will be unfair to us. All we are asking from you, is to have mercy on us these elderly ones, and exempt us,” she pleaded.
Meanwhile, the Minister has not given any clear indication whether government will heed to the demands of the Individual Pension Bondholders.
The leadership of the group has therefore indicated that they will meet with their members to determine the way forward.
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