The National Communications Officer of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) has stated that the ongoing Domestic Debt Exchange Programme (DDEP) is not the solution to Ghana’s economic woes.
Sammy Gyamfi said the fundamental issue underlying the crisis of the economy stems from mismanagement by the Akufo-Addo government.
He believes that the success of the Programme would be short-lived.
“People think that this so-called debt exchange programme is the panacea to our economic woes. I disagree. It is not the panacea to our economic woes.
“If we do not address the issue that has brought the country to its knees, it doesn’t matter how many times we do debt exchange, we will return to this same ditch,” he said.
According to him, the current administration is the “luckiest government in the history of the country in that it has unprecedented oil revenue, huge tax revenue and unprecedented borrowed funds.”
However, Mr Gyamfi is saddened that government has failed to deliver in spite of the availability of such revenues.
Speaking about the Programme, the private legal practitioner said that DDEP seeks to rather “expropriate” the investments of individuals.
He lamented that government’s resort to the Programme is attributable to its “reckless borrowing and expenditures they have engaged in, in the last six years.”
Mr Gyamfi’s comments follow the Minister of Finance, Ken Ofori–Atta’s call for an urgent conclusion on the programme by March.
According to the Minister, without the programme, the economy would crash.
However, individual bondholders want to be excluded from the programme.
Throughout the week, individual pensioners’ bondholders have been picketing the Ministry of Finance in protest of their inclusion in the exchange programme.
On Friday, many Ghanaians were surprised to see former Chief Justice Sophia Akuffo among the protesters at the Ministry.
Speaking to the media, she described the debt exchange as “wicked, disrespectful, unlawful and totally wrong.”
Meanwhile, given the new terms by government to which banks and security agencies have agreed, Political Risk Analyst Dr Theo Acheampong explained that government does not need individual bondholders in order to succeed in the rolling out of the programme.
Some experts also believe that although government said 80% participation is needed for the success of the economic recovery policy, the current 70% participation level can make a positive impact.