Minister of Finance, Ken Ofori-Atta, will today appear before parliament to answer questions from lawmakers on the Domestic Debt Exchange Programme (DDEP).
His appearance was announced last Friday, February 10 by deputy Majority Leader, Alexander Kwamena Afenyo-Markin, when he presented the Business Statement for this week to the House.
Speaker of Parliament, Alban Bagbin ordered the minister to appear before the House following calls by Minority MPs for Ofori-Atta to furnish the House with details of the programme.
The MPs, argued that it was unacceptable for parliament and the general public not to have been furnished with the full details of the DDEP, a situation they say continues to fuel anxiety about the exercise.
Governmrnt announces 85% subscription rate for DDEP
Ghana is currently hoping to secure an International Monetary Fund (IMF) bailout to help save the economy from collapse amid rising inflation, rapid depreciation of the cedi against the US dollar and credit downgrades by international rating agencies.
Government earlier this week announced that the conclusion of subscription towards the Domestic Debt Exchange Programme (DDEP) which saw an 85% official subscription rate.
The DDEP is said to be a core condition that could help Ghana get approval of the IMF board for a US$3 billion facility after a Staff-Level Agreement was reached last December.
The DDEP was dogged by controversies from demands by various groups demanding exemption from the programme.
The ministry is still grappling with pensioner bondholders who are demanding they are formally exempted even though the minister insists they have automatically been exempted and that their coupons will be honoured when due.
Ablakwa champions cause to summon Ofori-Atta
MP for North Tongu, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, had earlier noted that the government is acting contrary to what the finance minister had promised in the 2023 budget, announcing the details of the debt exchange programme before its implementation.
The failure, he said, has led to some challenges in its implementation, including the recent picketing by affected pensioners and individual bond holders at the ministry.
“Ghanaians are genuinely concerned about their life savings and investments, and this House is yet to be briefed. We have not debated this programme and yet the Ministry of Finance is going ahead to implement this debt exchange programme which they say is a condition for the ongoing IMF engagements.
“The Minister of Finance must appear before us and we must debate and agree exactly what should be the nature of this Domestic Debt Exchange Programme, who should be exempted and the implications – what are the full ramifications on the Ghanaian economy and on the affected citizens who are currently living in anguish, in pain and great anxiety,” he said in a social media post.