Debt Exchange Programme: NPP’s Obiri Boahen Advises Ofori-Atta Against Unilateral Decisions

Debt Exchange Programme: NPP’s Obiri Boahen Advises Ofori-Atta Against Unilateral Decisions

  • NPP stalwart Nana Obiri Boahen has advised the finance minister against taking unilateral decisions on the Domestic Debt Exchange Programme (DDEP)
  • He told on Wednesday, January 25, 2023 that the minister must get the support of all investors in order to achieve success
  • Obiri Boahen, however, said it is not true that the minister has been deliberately insensitive to the plight of investors

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A stalwart of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) Nana Obiri Boahen has appealed to the finance minister, Ken Ofori-Atta, to consult key stakeholders of the Domestic Debt Exchange Programme (DDEP), particularly the investors.

Speaking to in an exclusive interview, the former deputy general secretary of the governing NPP said while the finance minister is justified to roll out a debt restructure to save the debt-hit economy from collapse, he must proceed cautiously.

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"The understanding of stakeholders' [investors in Ghana's bonds] is important. The Attorney-General has even advised against unilateral decisions. The person who is going to represent Ghana if we are dragged to any court has said you need the support of investors. So I think the finance minister must listen," he said.
Obiri Boahen has appealed to Ken Ofori-Atta to get investors to support the DDEP.
L-R: Nana Obiri Boahen and Ken Ofori-Atta. Source: UGC.
Source: UGC

Obiri Boahen, a lawyer and senior partner at Enso Nyame Ye Chambers, was sharing his personal thoughts on the controversial DDEP with on Wednesday, January 25, 2023.

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Godfred Dame warns Ofori-Atta against unilateral decisions on debt exchange programme

It emerged in early December 2022 that Ofori-Atta reached out to Attorney-General, Godfred Yeboah Dame, for advice on his intention to roll out the DDEP through an Executive Instrument which would then be approved by President Nana Akufo-Addo under “emergency powers”.

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But among other things, Dame advised that the minister must secure the support and understanding of bondholders in using the DDEP to save the economy and restore stability.

Nana Obiri Boahen also told that it is unfortunate that some politicians and social commentators have suggested that the proposals in the DDEP are insensitive.

He said in the 1980s, Ghana experienced a similar economic meltdown but Ghanaians at the time were willing to swallow the bitter pill, and that restored stability to Ghana's economy.

"The most important thing is that now, we should take immediate steps to prevent a repeat in future. We should not repeat this," he admonished.

Obiri Boahen further advised against making the DDEP an NPP government problem because it is not. According to him, the external and internal factors that have caused the debt crisis could have happened under NDC too.

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"This is not about NDC or NPP. This is about Ghana," he stressed.

He commended the finance minister for reaching an agreement with the Ghana Association of Bankers (GAB) on the DDEP.

Finance Ministry and banks reach agreement on domestic debt exchange

Meanwhile, reported in a separate story that the Ghana Association of Bankers (GAB) and the finance ministry have agreed on some modifications to some of the proposals in the DDEP.

For instance, the finance ministry has now agreed to begin to pay a 5% coupon on investments from 2023 and not 2024 as it had earlier proposed.

GAB has urged its members to support the programme because it is critical to solving the country's debt challenges.

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