Debt exchange could land Ghana in very difficult times  – Dr Atuahene

A Banking Consultant, Dr Richmond Atuahene, says the government’s refusal to implement other debt operations apart from the debt exchange programme could land the country in some very difficult situation.

Ghana is inviting eligible holders to exchange GH₵137.3 billion of the domestic notes and bonds, including Energy Sector Levy Act Plc and Daakye Trust Plc, for a package of New Bonds to be issued by the country.

According to Dr Atuahene, rather than only implementing the debt exchange programme, the government could have also employed the debt rescheduling programme and debt re-profiling programme to ensure that the country’s debts reach sustainable levels.

Speaking on Joy News’ PM Express programme on Monday he explained that just implanting one debt operation could hit the country very hard and prove counterproductive in the end.

“It’s not a one size wear. As I said, there are so many models or options for us, but it looks like we have stuck to one which could make it very difficult for us. We could have looked at in addition, a little bit …they don’t want the word ‘haircut’, but per my calculation if you do even five per cent of it, net present value, you will get somewhere.And then you do the rescheduling and the re-profiling and a bit of….but if you take one and go straight to it, it’s going to hit the country very, very hard,” he said.

Dr Atuahene explained that the debt exchange programme could affect output in the country, which could lead to high unemployment rates and lower revenues for the country.

“Nobody thinks about the output, it’s going to have effect on the output. And it will in turn affect revenue generation, because if people are being laid off, production is going to go down, how are you going to get taxes on the profitability and what have you? So we’re in a very critical situation and I believe it is not too late,” he said.

He said “They should get back and consult very well. Consultation matters because we have various good people who understand this so that we can tell people. But the way it is, as if somebody has got a jacket he just put it on your head ‘take it or leave it’. I mean if you have my money and you tell me take it or leave it then it means you mean I should go and die.”

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