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Parliament wasn’t briefed properly on the debt exchange programme – Kyei Mensah-Bonsu

The Majority Leader in Parliament, Osei Kyei Mensah-Bonsu has said the legislature was not briefed properly on the controversial debt exchange programme.

Osei Kyei Mensah-Bonsu

He said during the consultations for the budget, the programme was mentioned but it was not explained into detail to the leadership of the house.

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Speaking to Accra based Citi FM, the Suame Member of Parliament said the government has to do a proper consultation of the programme.

“There were meetings before the budget came to be consummated and later on presented by the Finance Minister. So we had broad discussions, but the details were not known to us at the time, but some consultations went on as to where exactly we were as a nation. But I am not too sure that this matter came up for discussion maybe the broad strokes were mentioned but not the details,” Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu told host Bernard Avle.

The Majority had earlier warned that if the government enforces the debt exchange programme as it is now, it will wipe the middle class in Ghana.

Speaking with a group of individual bondholders led by convener, Senyo Hosi and private legal practitioner Martin Kpebu after a petition to exclude individual bondholders from the debt exchange was presented to him on Friday, the Suame MP called on the Finance Minister to properly engage with major stakeholders.

“What we [are] talking about is that many of these bondholders also belong to the middle class and that’s where the major worry is. If we are wiping away the middle class, that could be dangerous, so we need to have some further dialogue on this.

“Government thinks that this is the best way forward, however, even if it is, we need to engage, reflect and then move on and that will encourage some people who have some doubt to better appreciate where we are.”

“Nothing can substitute for discussions, round table discussions and engagements wherever we find ourselves in. I think it’s important that we go back to the drawing table to have engagements with the major stakeholders… All of us are in it. And if we don’t manage it well, we’ve gone through this before, way back some 25, 30 years ago and repositioning was a major, major difficulty”, he added.

The government’s deadline for bondholders to sign onto the domestic debt exchange programme expires today, Monday, January 16, 2023.

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