Ghana’s economy could crash if bondholders do not accept DDEP – Gabby Otchere-Darko

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Private legal practitioner, Gabby Asare Otchere-Darko has advanced reasons for which individual bondholders are supposed to welcome the debt restructuring offer from the government.

According to him, the Ghanaian economy could crash if the bondholders do not quickly accept the offer as outlined by the Ministry of Finance.

Gabby, in a series of posts on social media, warned against the agitations surrounding the deal and encouraged the bondholders to play their role in the Domestic Debt Exchange Programme (DDEP).

“Ghana is in a very difficult place. What we are seeing with the mobilisation of agitation on individual bondholders poses a real and serious risk worse than what we witnessed when opposition to E-Levy succeeded in derailing an already shaky macroeconomic situation from 2021,” portions of his tweets read.

“The debt exchange programme is voluntary for individual bondholders but a very necessary evil for our economy.

“Its success is critical to restoring macroeconomic stability, securing an IMF prog. It hits those of us holding bonds very hard. A straight no to it is no solution!”, Mr Otchere-Darko stressed.

“If the no-compromise opposition to it wins, what then has been achieved? It may lead to national debt default.

“So what then happens to the value of your bonds after! Potentially worthless. If participation is low, we jeopardize resolving the economic crisis and hardships”, he wrote.

Gabby Otchere-Darko concluded his tweet storm by reminding Ghanaians that the country’s economy is not in a good shape and that certain uncomfortable measures ought to be taken to restore it.

“I’m sorry but we have to face the hard/painful truths. We ain’t sitting pretty. Our focus must be on how the burden to individual bondholders may be possibly eased; but not to take the hardline position of simply saying no to participation. It will come back to hit us harder!”.

Meanwhile, the invitation to the Domestic Debt Exchange Programme (DDEP) expires today, Monday, January 16, 2023, at 4:00 p.m.

This comes after two extensions of the expiration date by the Finance Ministry.

The decision to include individual bondholders was necessitated after government was forced by labour unions to abandon plans to include pensions in the debt exchange programme which was first announced in December 2022.

— Ferdinand A Baah