Ghana News

Debt exchange programme: I don’t believe government doesn’t have money – Martin Kpebu



Private Legal Practitioner, Martin Kpebu has cast doubt on government’s claim that it has no money to pay for the country’s debts.

Due to this assertion, government has introduced a debt exchange measure to help sustain the debt. As part of the measures, the programme was extended to include individual bondholders.

Speaking in an interview on Joy FM’s Super Morning Show on Monday, Mr Kpebu said he does not believe government has no money to settle it’s debts.

“I don’t believe government doesn’t have money. I have looked at the budget and straight away if I look at the projects we intend to do, I believe government can cut back,” he suggested.

He stated that there is money, however, government only intends to channel it to “other purposes.”

According to him, government can get funds if it cuts down on some infrastructure and developmental projects highlighted in the 2023 Budget.

“It’s not like people are asking for freebies, it is their hard-earned money that they lend to government and it is time to pay and government is like no, we don’t have money but government intends to continue certain developmental projects. You can’t rob Peter to pay Paul. No, it doesn’t work that way,” he added.

It would be recalled that days after the government announced the exclusion of pension funds in the debt exchange programme, it decided to include individual bondholders.

Individual investors were initially not part of the domestic debt restructuring. However, the exemption of pension funds from the programme triggered the inclusion of individual investors.

“…expanding the type of investors that can participate in the Exchange to now include Individual Investors”, a statement from the Finance Ministry indicated.

Meanwhile, Mr Kpebu is leading about 200 individual investors to engage the government over the inclusion of individual bondholders in the debt exchange programme.

Mr. Kpebu noted that these investors do not want any haircut on their matured investments.

He noted that a class action lawsuit against government will follow if negotiations fail.

A notice inviting affected individuals to join the class action suit described the government’s decision as “unconscionable”.

It said, “government cannot be allowed to use its might to impoverish Ghanaians.”

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