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The new deadline for the debt exchange programme is not feasible – Dr. Assibey-Yeboah

Dr. Mark Assibey-Yeboah, former New Patriotic Party (NPP) Member of Parliament for New Juaben South has disclosed that the extension for the Domestic Debt Exchange Programme will not work.

Mark Assibey-Yeboah and Ken Ofori-Atta

He said the government has not engaged stakeholders enough for the 31st January deadline to work.

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Speaking on the Business Focus with Paa Kwasi Asare on TV3 Monday January 16, Dr Assibey-Yeboah said including individual bondholders in programme is not fair.

“Initially, we were told that individual bondholders will not be part of the debt exchange. People have planned their lives around the bonds that they hold and then suddenly, in the wee hours of 31st December, you sneak this one out and say that now, individual bondholders are part.

“Because we were all celebrating Christmas we didn’t pay attention.”

He added “This is my hard earned money and somebody is picking from it. You told me individual bondholders will not be part Why are you including individual bondholders? Have you engaged the individual bondholders? You haven’t. That is why I say the deadline will be extended again. The consultations we need, the hard decisions we need to take we are not taking them.”

Dr. Assibey-Yeboah also predicted that the current programme, if not tweaked, will lead to the collapse of many banks in the country.

“Now, we are in a hole, you have individual bondholders going to be affected, the financial sector is going to crush. I am telling you now, where we are as a country, this is not the time to massage issues, the banks, I don’t want to mention names, some of them will collapse.

“Let us say you are a bank and you are exposed to government bonds to the tune of GHS2billion. If you have 20 per cent, that is 400Million Cedis in interest payment you forgo , do you know what that will do to your balance sheet? So banks are going to lay people off.”

On Monday January 16, the government yet again extended the Domestic Debt Exchange (DDE) Programme.

This makes it the third extension following agitations among individual bondholders to sign on to the Programme.

The decision is to allow the government to further engage with these bondholders.

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