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What is it that we want to see before we start to take things seriously?-Kofi Bentil

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Kofi Bentil-IMANI

The Vice President of policy think-tank IMANI Africa, Kofi Bentil, has berated the government over its decision to go ahead with the Domestic Debt Exchange Programme (DDEP) despite several calls to reconsider the decision.

According to him, Ghana’s ‘rush’ to proceed with the programme is ‘abnormal and arrogant in approach’.

The government has stressed that the domestic debt exchange programme is part of a broader agenda to restructure the country’s debt and financial sustainability, noting that countries such as Jamaica, Greece and Barbados have gone through similar routes to support their ailing economies.

But Kofi Bentil, in a Facebook post, questioned the government’s haste and modus operandi, noting that the aforementioned countries took months before finalising their decision.

He also touched on the plight of individual bondholders who would be hit hard by the move.

“Ghana’s rush to do a Domestic Debt Exchange (DDE) is abnormal and arrogant in its approach. It took Jamaica 30 months. It took Barbados 18 months. It took Grenada 30 months. It is NOT easy because you are asking people to give you their property. You can’t stampede them!”

Kofi Bentil also took the Ministry of Finance to task in the said Facebook for failing to coordinate and work out solutions with the creditors involved.

“The Ministry of Finance has failed to bear the cost of coordinating with local creditors and co-creating the solution with them. Everywhere we have seen successful debt restructuring, the government has done it. Bar none,” he added.

He went on to warn the government that “if we don’t get this right, it will become a systemic, full-blown economic disaster and later a national security disaster. What do we want to see before we get serious?”

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