The Pensioner Bondholders Forum will be present at the Parliament on February 14th as the Minister of Finance, Ken Ofori-Atta, appears before the House’s Business Committee. This follows a directive from the Speaker of Parliament, Alban Bagbin, for the Committee to summon the Minister to provide information on the Domestic Debt Exchange Programme (DDEP) that targets bond holdings of pensioners.
The Convener for the Forum, Dr. Adu Anane Antwi, stated that the Pensioner Bondholders will observe proceedings from the public gallery and not picket, as they do not have any issues with the Members of Parliament.
The Pensioner Bondholders began picketing at the Ministry of Finance on February 5th to demand total exemption from the DDEP. The government’s proposal involves exchanging bonds with maturity periods of 12-15 years for shorter 5-year bonds with a reduced return from an average of 18.5% to 15%. However, pensioners are unwilling to accept the proposal, as it will negatively impact their livelihoods as their retirement plans revolve around earnings from these bond investments
I can’t afford to wait for 5 years, I need money for my dialysis treatment,” said one pensioner. Another pensioner, Dr. Millicient Cobblah, a former lecturer at the University of Ghana’s Department of Animal Biology and Animal Conservation Science, added that the government should not interfere with the pensioners as they have already fulfilled their obligations to the nation.Madam Kokui Adu, a member of the Forum, said exempting the contributions of pensioners would not derail the programme because their contribution was marginal, adding “we are not that powerful”.