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DDEP: Majority Leader’s comment on destroying middle class unfortunate, says Adei

Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu warned that involving bondholders in the debt exchange programme without further consultations could wipe out the middle class

Professor Stephen Adei, an educationist and economist, has condemned a recent comment by the Majority Leader, Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, about the domestic debt exchange programme (DDEP), describing it as rather unfortunate.

Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu last week warned that involving bondholders in the programme without further consultations could wipe out the middle class and will spell doom for Ghana.

Reacting to the comment on Asaase 99.5 Accra, Adei said duty bearers must be circumspect with their comments on the debt exchange programme.

“I was actually honestly mad at the Majority Leader’s comment about destroying the middle class after receiving the petition of aggrieved bondholders,” Adei said.

“We must be very careful.”

Listen to Professor Stephen Adei in the audio clip attached below:

 

Professor Adei also suggested that the government revise the threshold for pensioners who may be affected by the Domestic Debt Exchange Programme.

He argued that this will ensure that those who are vulnerable and financially unstable are exempted from the programme.

On Monday (16 January) the Ministry of Finance extended the deadline to register for its domestic debt exchange to 31 January 2023, in order to “secure internal approvals” from the financial sector.

 

Speaking to Beatrice Adu on The Big Bulletin on Asaase 99.5 Accra on Monday, Adei warned that Ghana risks losing lives in the coming weeks if the government fails to review the threshold for pensioners.

“The pensioners – my colleagues – it is because when we got our lump sum, our life investments, we invested it into government bonds. So that is what is now at stake …” he said.

“There must be a threshold, so that there is a certain minimum. Other than that, some of my colleagues will physically die in a [few] weeks … it is a very serious matter.”

Poor communication

The economist wants the government to step up efforts to educate Ghanaians on which categories of individuals are likely to be affected by the debt exchange programme.

“So much is being said without people understanding it,” Professor Adei said.

“We are talking about young people like you who are yet to go for pension and have invested in the bonds for their future.

“Communication has been terribly bad,” he said.

Fred Dzakpata

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