DDEP: Ofori-Atta can’t send incomplete document to Parliament – Alfred Thompson

A former Deputy Managing Director of the National Investment Bank (NIB) Alfred Thompson has said the Finance Minister cannot submit an incomplete document on the Domestic Debt Exchange Programme (DDEP) to Parliament for approval.

He stated that the Finance Minister will have to get the buy-ins of the stakeholders involved, gather all the necessary ingredients and piece them together in one document before going to Parliament.

That is what he is doing at the moment, he said on the Big Issue on TV3 Friday, February 17 while reacting to calls for the DDEP to be submitted to Parliament for approval.

“The Minister has to cross all the T’s and dot all the I’s before going Parliament, otherwise what is he presenting to Parliament?” Mr Thompson who is also a member of the communications team of the New Patitoc Party (NPP) said.

His comments come after Bawku Central Member of Parliament Mahama Ayariga said that the Finance Minister had no legal right to solely decide on domestic bonds.

Mr Ayariga said every action of the Finance Minister should be scrutinized and approved by Parliament per the Public Financial Management Act.

“If he has not been coming to Parliament for approval, I am telling him today that he is doing the wrong thing, he must come to parliament for approval of the domestic bond.

“Tomorrow I will file a motion in Parliament requesting the Finance Minister to submit to Parliament,” he said on the Ghana Tonight show on TV3 Thursday, February 16.

The government announced that no revocations or withdrawals are permitted as the Domestic Debt Exchange Programme (DDEP) closes.

The Programme closed at 4:00pm on Friday, February 10 with approximately 85 percent participation.

This exceeds the target by the Ministry of Finance, which on more than three occasions extended the deadline to get more bondholders to sign up.

In a statement on Tuesday, February 14, the Ministry expressed satisfaction with the outcome of the Programme’s rollout, insisting that it is a significant achievement for government to fully implement the economic strategies in the post-Covid-19 Programme for Economic Growth (PC-PEG).

It pointed out that to provide sufficient time to settle the new bonds in an efficient manner, the Settlement Date has been extended to Tuesday, February 21 from Tuesday, February 14.

“This Settlement Date extension is, however, only to process the settlement of the New Bonds,” the statement said.

“The issue date, interest accrual schedules and payment schedules for the New Bonds will be adjusted to reflect the actual Settlement Date.

“As the Exchange period has expired, no new tenders will be accepted, and no revocations or withdrawals are permitted.”

Meanwhile, government says it has received expressions of interest from other stakeholders for a similar Programme.

Therefore, it says it is modifying the six-month “clear market” provision of the New Bonds in order not to limit government from issuing Domestic Public Indebtedness.

Mr Ofori-Atta subsequently told Parliament that he has met the pensioners who have been picketing to protest their inclusion in the DDEP three times.

He said he has explained to them the terms of the new bonds

Briefing Parliament on Thursday, February 16, he said “government is committed to the wellbeing of our senior citizens and pensioners. The government will honour their coupon payments and maturing principles.”

Also Read:DDEP: Ofori-Atta can’t send incomplete document to Parliament – Alfred Thompson

He added “I have met with them on three occasions where I explained the terms of the new bonds. I subsequently wrote to their convener to let him know that all pensioners who did not participate in the bond offerings are exempt.”




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