Convener of the Individual Bondholders Association of Ghana (IBHAG), Martin Kpebu, says government acted in bad faith in defaulting on bond payments.
Payments of matured coupons and principal payments have been in arrears for over two months now.
The association on Monday, April 24, recused itself from the deliberations of the Technical Committee of the government’s Domestic Debt Exchange Programme (DDEP).
According to the association, its decision to withdraw from the technical committee is necessitated by the deliberations which do not serve the primary interest of its members.
Speaking on Eyewitness News, Mr. Kpebu questioned why the government has not been able to make payments despite countless promises adding that it’s a shame for government not to honour its obligations after making a few payments.
He described as artificial claim by the government not to have money to settle matured coupons.
“Government is trying to hoodwink us, that it doesn’t have money to pay matured bonds and coupons. Government knew its finance before promising us. Soon after completing DDEP, the government started defaulting. This is not natural but an artificial claim and is not backed by any evidence. Government is not sensitive to the plight of Individual Bondholders that is how come government had the audacity to say that it doesn’t have money to pay us. And that we should look at other means of payment. That is why we said we are not going to be part of the Technical Committee. This is a very expensive joke”.
He reiterated, “We withdrew from the technical committee because government didn’t deal with us in good faith. These negotiations were being held in bad faith. Government is dealing with us in very bad faith. In a very insensitive manner. As we speak now, some have matured that government hasn’t paid. There’s February 20, March 5, 20, 27, 30 and April 17. The government has not paid. The dates came and nothing was done, since then it’s been one story after the other. Are we saying that by the time government was making commitment on February 27, it didn’t intend to pay even the ones that had matured on February 20? It’s a shame”.
Mr. Kpebu called on the government to come clean with the individual Bondholders on its inability to settle its members.
He alleged that the government lacks credibility to announce that it’s going through hard times to make payments.
“When we say economic difficulties, let’s not jump into slogans when we have not been shown the books as to what revenue government has. Why are you hiding the books? These coupons are in the budget, and we have made provisions for those.
“Government has to sit us down and show us the books so that we can check and be satisfied. Especially when government has been flip-flopping, deceiving us, making U-turns, that there will be no haircut, today what do we have? When you lack credibility like that, you can’t just come out and say there’s no money,” he stated.
He called on government to pay attention to the individual Bondholders before allocating funds to developmental projects.
“You cannot pay for developmental projects when citizens have not been paid their monies. You cannot pay contractors when bondholders have not been paid money to make up for their daily expenses. We need to be alive first to enjoy the roads. We are being reasonable, it’s not freebies, we lent government, and it’s time to pay back, and it’s doing ‘wagadri’, which is wrong,” Mr. Kpebu underscored.