Members of the pensioner bondholders forum have expressed their displeasure over government’s posture towards them in the wake of their calls for matured coupons owed them to be paid.
The forum has resumed picketing at the premises of the Finance Ministry in demand for their funds.
The body is agitated due to the ministry’s absence in a meeting scheduled between the leadership of both sides to address the concerns.
The convener of the forum, Dr. Adu Anane Antwi in an address to the media said they feel disrespected by government’s posture.
“After we dispersed from the Ministry of Finance, we were scheduled for a meeting on May 11, for 4 pm, but later it was called for 4:30 pm. It was called upon by the Minister of State at the Ministry, Dr. Amin Adam. We were here, we waited for him to finish his meeting, and we exchanged greetings”.
“We waited till 5:45 pm, the officials we were supposed to meet didn’t show up, so we left. We had to leave for our various houses to eat and take our medications and rest. We are waiting to get a call from them. We are hoping to get a call and have a discussion.”
Dr. Antwi said government should borrow from the country’s Treasury bills market in order to pay their matured coupons.
What happened with pensioner bondholders’ funds?
In the wake of an economic downturn last year, the Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta requested that funds of pensioner bondholders be used in undertaking a domestic debt restructuring exercise in its quest to secure a staff level agreement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF). This was after funds of individual bondholders had been used for the same purpose.
Despite strong opposition to the approach, the said funds were eventually included after several instances of consultations with stakeholders.
The government then promised a set time to pay back the funds but defaulted later on. This caused bondholders to embark on several protests to draw government’s attention.
Following a prolonged period of non-payment of their loans, the pensioner bondholders have resumed picketing at the premises of the Ministry of Finance and are on day 5 of an undetermined duration of the protest.
Prior to the protest, Dr. Antwi noted that the forum will continue to picket no matter how long it takes to draw government’s attention and that it will adopt a rotational measure to ensure that those who may need rest along the lines may do so.
He explained that their resort is informed by the current economic hardship which has made medication for some pensioners quite unaffordable.