June 20, 2024
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Pay us all our outstanding coupons, principals by April 28 or we resume picketing – Pensioner Bondholders Forum to government

The Pensioner Bondholders Forum has threatened to resume its picketing at the premises of the Ministry of Finance if the government fails to pay all outstanding coupons and principals of bond investments by April 28, 2023. This it believes will put an end to the payment delays.

In a statement signed by its Convener, Dr Adu Anane Antwi, it expressed disappointment about the government’s inconsistency regarding assurances to pay all pensioners their outstanding coupons and principals of bond investments.

A Press Release dated April 14, 2023, from the Ministry of Finance indicated that a meeting held with the leadership of Coalition of Individual Bondholders groups and the Pensioners Bondholders Forum indicated that the Joint Technical Committee constituted on January 18, 2023, reconvenes and agrees on a pathway, towards the settlement of the outstanding debt obligations by April 28, 2023.

However, the Pensioners Bondholders Forum denied that no such decision was reached.

It, therefore, expressed many surprises about the misleading statement contained in paragraph two of the Ministry of Finance Press Release of April 14, 2023.

“We wish to state finally that if the payments of all outstanding coupons and principals are not made by April 28, 2023, we shall be left with no other option than to resume our picketing at the premises of the Ministry to further press home our demand for the payment of all coupons and principals in arrears, and an end to payment delays”.

Pensioner Bondholders Forum rejected Finance Ministry proposal

Furthermore, the Forum said “Our attention has been drawn to a Press Release of April 14, 2023, from the Ministry of Finance on a meeting held with the leadership of Coalition of Individual Bondholders groups and the Pensioners Bondholders Forum on April 14, 2023. Paragraph two of the Press Release contains a statement to the effect that the meeting agreed that the Joint Technical Committee constituted on January 18, 2023, reconvenes and agrees on a pathway, towards the settlement of the outstanding debt obligations by April 28, 2023. We wish to state that no such agreement contained in paragraph two of the Ministry’s Press Release was reached”.

It added that “at the meeting, the Ministry proposed that the Joint Technical Committee constituted on January 18, 2023, be given a period of four weeks to work and agree on a pathway, towards the settlement of the outstanding debt obligations by the government. The proposal from the Ministry was not accepted”.

The statement further reiterated the Convener of the Forum position that some pensioners were going through a lot of pains and financial hardships, and therefore want the payments to be made by April 21, 2023, as demanded in the Forum’s letter of March 30, 2023, to the Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta.

“The Convener however promised that he will try and convince members of the Forum to grant the Ministry a one week extension of the April 21, 2023 deadline for the payment of the Government’s outstanding debts obligations. The Convener advised that the Ministry waits to receive a confirmation from him on the one week extension after he has consulted with members of the Forum”, the statement continued.

Additionally, the statement said “the Convener requested that upon the receipt of a confirmation from him, the Ministry of Finance should respond to the Forum’s letter of March 30, 2023 and indicate that after further engagement with the Forum, the Ministry agreed to pay the outstanding coupons and principals by April 28, 2023. The Deputy Minister agreed to do as requested”.

After the meeting, the statement pointed out that the Convener sent this text message at 4:25 pm to the Deputy Minister through two of the Ministry’s staff who were involved in facilitating the meeting, reading, “This is to confirm the one week extension I proposed at the meeting, to the 21st April 2023 deadline demanded by the Pensioner Bondholders Forum for the payment of outstanding coupons and principals. Please convey the confirmation to the Deputy Minister. Thanks. Dr. Adu A. Antwi”.

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