Don’t worry about the trade-ability of our bonds – Pensioners
Pensioner bondholders have asked the government to focus on servicing their coupons and not worry about the trade-ability of their bonds.
They said finding value for their old bonds in the future was the sole responsibility of individual holders who had no intention of trading their bonds anytime soon.
“They didn’t buy the bonds to trade; they bought these bonds to hold on to maturity. It is the coupons that they will be receiving that they are interested in,” said Dr Anane Antwi, the Convener of the Forum, in an interview.
Sharing the outcomes of a second meeting between the leadership of the Pensioner Bondholders Forum and the Finance Minister of Friday, he said the government had maintained that the programme was voluntary, so pensioners were free to opt out.
Dr Antwi, however, said the best way to solve the problem of trade-ability the government had raised and to guarantee the inflow of coupons for pensioners to sustain their livelihoods was to grant exemption.
“There is a difference between issuer exempting you and you yourself opting out. I said if issuer exempt you from a restructuring, the issuer is telling you that, for these debts I don’t have a challenge.
“I can handle whatever there is that I must handle that is why I am not restructuring it. This is what exemption means,” he said.
Dr Charles Fordjour, a pharmacist, who joined picketing at the Finance Ministry by the bondholders on Monday said it was time for younger groups and Civil Society Organisations (CSO) to join the call for exemption of the aged from the Domestic Debt Exchange Programme.
He said it was inappropriate to tamper with livelihood of senior citizens who relied on bonds to feed and access health care.
The aged, he said, must be accorded the needed respect and honoured with love and care for their immense role in nation building.
“Can you imagine if one of them should lose their life because they could not afford their medication or even one of them could not feed because they could not have money to buy food. The consequences on us, the spiritual curses. I think we should all rise and say no, not their money,” he said.
The deadline for signing up on to the Domestic Debt Exchange Programme elapsed last Friday with the government yet to make any pronouncement on the programme.