Former President John Dramani Mahama has bemoaned the adverse effect the Domestic Debt Exchange Programme (DDEP) will have on the life savings of Ghanaians and the entire financial sector.
The former President said over six million Ghanaians are likely to have their life savings wiped out if some adjustments are not made to the domestic debt exchange programme to protect individual bondholders.
Delivering an address at Chatham House in London on the theme, “Africa’s Strategic Priorities and Global Role”, the former President said after 66 years of Ghana’s independence, the country is currently bankrupt due to the bad economic policies of the Akufo-Addo-Bawumia administration.
“In a little under six weeks from today, Ghana will mark sixty-six (66) years of nationhood. Far from being an occasion to celebrate independence and the successes and achievements of nationhood, we will mark this day under the yoke of the worst economic situation in decades.
“We are currently bankrupt and burdened with national debt we are simply not able to pay. You may have learnt over the past few weeks that the Ghanaian government has defaulted on servicing of both external and domestic debt.
“There is currently a huge uproar over a controversial debt restructuring programme under which the middle class of Ghana could be wiped out if plans to have them forfeit proceeds of government bonds on which they rely for investment and sustenance are followed through.
“In absolute terms, up to about six (6) million people could be deprived of their life savings and investments. Ghana’s banking and financial sector could also be under threat of insolvency if no suitable adjustments are made to the debt restructuring plans.,” the former President said.
Mr Mahama also stated that he is not against the debt restructuring programme currently being implemented by the Akufo-Addo-led administration but against the absence of dialogue.
“I am not opposed to debt restructuring. What has been the contention is the lack of dialogue and consultation with the debt holders on the domestic side. I know that negotiations are taking place with the bondholders on the external side but not the same treatment on the domestic side.
“I have been an advocate for dialogue. Before this whole crisis started, I advised the government and said they should hold a national dialogue on the economy, give us the state of the economy and let everybody understand and after that seek broad consensus behind the economic programme. But this was never done and what we expected will happen, happened.”