Ken Ofori-Atta, the Minister of Finance has warned of dire consequences if Ghana fails to secure a deal with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in March.
He said the Ghanaian economy will collapse if the country fails to secure a deal with the Bretton Woods institution.
Addressing Pensioner bondholders who have resisted their inclusion in a domestic debt exchange programme on Monday, February 6, the Finance Minister pleaded with the pensioners to accept a 3.5% cut and accept the new terms of 15% coupon rate and 5% maturity.
“We really feel that government has listened, there is humanity to us, we are protecting the destitute, widows and the orphans and the older people who have worked for this nation. We are in a crisis, we cannot put our heads under the sun and pretend that we are not.
We need to be mindful that we really need to be successful in going to the fund by this March to avoid what we all experienced last year which we all don’t want to experience again.”
Pensioners who bought government bonds on Monday, February 6, 2023, picketed at the Finance Ministry to press home their demands for an exemption of their bonds from the government’s domestic debt exchange programme.
The pensioners who are part of the Pensioner Bondholders Forum, want the government to completely exempt them from the debt exchange. They believe the inclusion of their bonds will negatively impact their livelihoods.
Speaking to the German Federal Minister of Finance, Christian Lindner last Friday at the Jubilee House in Accra, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo said Ghana will secure a deal with the IMF by March.
Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta
According to him, everything that is required for Ghana to do or submit in order to reach an agreement with the fund has been done, and optimistic the processes have been finalized.
He stressed that there was a vital need for other creditors to support the efforts that his government was undertaking to restructure both the external and domestic debts of the country, to enable the IMF deal to fall through quickly.
He said “We have already taken one important step forward in concluding a staff-level agreement with the IMF. One of the steps was the domestic debt exchange programme which encountered a lot of difficulties, but it has now been virtually concluded.”
“We are now looking towards going the full hog and concluding the agreement. We’re hoping that will be done by the middle of March,” he stated.
However, Nana Addo urged Germany to encourage China, an ad hoc member of the Paris Club, to support Ghana’s debt restructuring efforts.