Debt exchange programme: Don’t touch our pension funds, UTAG says

The University Teachers' Association of Ghana (UTAG) says any attempt to include pension funds in the programme will adversely affect its members

The University Teachers’ Association of Ghana (UTAG) has suggested to the government to exempt pension funds from the debt exchange programme.

UTAG said any attempt to include pension funds in the programme will adversely affect its members.

Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta on Monday (5 December) launched the debt exchange programme in line with the government’s quest to restructure debt and put the economy back on track.

Speaking to sit-in host of The Asaase Breakfast Show, Benjamin Offei-Addo on Thursday (8 December), the vice president of UTAG, Eric Abavare said the government failed to engage stakeholders prior to the roll out of the programme.

“My interest is that our members have given out their principal and they’re looking for their principal and interest. In any case, if there’s any issue, it shouldn’t affect us,” he said.

“If the government has liquidity, why doesn’t it go ahead and use it rather than trying to take it from us,” Abavare said.

Intensify education of debt exchange programme

Meanwhile, the Institute of Statistical, Social and Economic Research (ISSER) has suggested to the government to step up education on its newly launched debt exchange programme.This, according to ISSER will help Ghanaians appreciate and understand the programme for a possible buy-in.

The Ghana Medical Association has, however, kicked against the programme adding that it will affect pension funds and subsequently health care delivery.

Speaking on the Asaase Breakfast Show on Wednesday (7 December) executive director of ISSER, Prof Peter Quartey said Ghanaians must sacrifice now to help address the current economic challenge.

“There is no doubt that this programme is a bitter pill to swallow … But it is important that we swallow this pill now rather than wait for a later time when things will definitely get worse,” he said.

“The NCCE should be equipped to head out and educate people; let them understand the reality on the ground and why certain decisions are being made. This will go a long way to help reduce panic.”

 He added, “I will like to urge citizens and unions to allow cool heads to prevail. A multitude of factors have led us here and it is important that we focus on consensus to make it out of this situation.”

Fred Dzakpata
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