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January 31 Debt Exchange Deadline Will Not Be Met – Dr. Theo Acheampong

The revised deadline for the domestic debt swap program won’t be met, according to economist Dr. Theo Acheampong.


This comes after a declaration made by the Ministry of Finance on January 16th.


Since it was first announced, the program’s deadline has been postponed three times due to strong opposition from a number of parties, including individual bondholders who claim the government failed to consult them before enrolling them in the scheme.


They want the government to take a very active role in finding a mutually agreeable solution.

However, speaking on PM Express, Dr. Theo Acheampong said, taking into consideration the government’s top-down approach in handling the programme, reaching an amicable solution may remain a dream for a long time.

“Currently in my view, the process has been bungled because of the sort of i-know-it-all attitude of the government where instead of engaging and consulting widely with the people that are affected, a lot of the things were pretty much thrown at them.

“And this is people’s monies, people’s livelihoods that we’re talking about. And so there was always going to be heavy resistance to it. But what people wanted to see was the government to actually engage in an open and frank manner rather than attempting to force the whole thing on them as a take-it-or-leave-it option. And that is really where we have a lot of the challenges now,” he said

He explained that a lot of work needed to be done for the government’s debt exchange programme to be considered attainable and sustainable, hence the January 31st deadline will not be met.

“I don’t think that that 31st January extension new date will be met because there are very entrenched positions here. And fundamentally, what this also means in my view is that that 55% debt to GDP number is not sustainable even by 2028.

“So we might have to actually go back and rework those numbers, because you’re talking about having to reduce your debt threshold by half within the space of about 4 years and that is going to impose heavy austerity on the people of Ghana.

“So perhaps it’s really a question of going back to the drawing board and trying to see if we can instead have a gradual reduction of these debt metrics and indicators over maybe an eight to 10 years period,” he said.

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