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Pensioner bondholders threaten to resume picketing over unpaid coupons and principal

The Pensioner Bondholders Forum has given notice that if all unpaid coupons and principal are not paid by Friday, April 28, picketing at the Ministry of Finance would resume.

In a statement, they stated that they would resume their protest in order to “further press home our demand for the payment of all coupons and principals in arrears, and an end to payment delays.”

In February, retirees, notably Sophia Akuffo, a former chief justice, started a public protest against the finance ministry for at first putting their bonds in the Domestic Debt Exchange Program (DDEP).

They were excluded from the Program as a result of their picketing days, making it optional for them.

The delay in the payment of their coupons and principal has been a complaint from people who choose not to participate in the DDEP.

Payment deadlines that were mutually agreed upon have been missed and some have remained unpaid.

The Convener of the Forum, Dr. Adu Antwi, chose to persuade members to agree to a one-week extension, which led to the most recent date of Friday, April 21, sparking controversy.

But he said after meeting the members and reporting back to the Deputy Minister of Finance, Abena Osei Asare, via a text message, a press release by the Ministry seems to have put out “misleading” facts.

“After the meeting, the Convener sent this text message at 4:25pm to the Deputy Minister through two (2) of the Ministry’s staff who were involved in facilitating the meeting: “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”.

“We are therefore very much surprised and worried to note the misleading statement contained in paragraph 2 of the Ministry’s Press Release of 14th April, 2023.”

It said with the April 28 extension agreed, pensioner bondholders will have no option than to resume picketing at the Ministry if all payment is not made after then.

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