In a joint press statement issued on Wednesday, July 5, 2023, the Individual Bondholders Association of Ghana (IBHAG) and the Individual Bondholders Forum (IBF) have declared their intention to stage a series of picketing protests at the Ministry of Finance.
The move comes as a direct response to the protracted delays in the payment of outstanding coupons and principals, and the lack of progress in implementing a recent Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed between the bondholders and the Finance Ministry.
Following a lengthy period of default, some bonds have now been in arrears for over 100 days, leaving bondholders in a state of financial uncertainty and distress. The signing of the MoU on May 16, 2023, was seen as a glimmer of hope, offering a potential resolution to the bondholders’ plight. However, the failure to implement the terms of the agreement has left them disillusioned and frustrated.
The IBHAG and IBF, representing the collective interests of individual bondholders, expressed their deep disappointment in the government’s perceived condescension, insensitivity, and lack of respect for its citizens.
The press statement emphasized the adverse consequences faced by bondholders and their dependents, who have been forced to endure hardships due to the delay in payments. Essential needs, including healthcare expenses, education costs, and basic family support, have been severely compromised, leading to an unbearable burden on bondholders and their loved ones.
To highlight their grievances and demand justice, the bondholders have announced their plans to commence picketing activities at the Ministry of Finance from July 11, 2023. They vow to continue these peaceful protests until their concerns are adequately addressed and the outstanding payments are made.
Additionally, a town hall meeting has been scheduled for July 9, 2023, where the bondholders and their supporters will gather to discuss the logistics and strategies for the picketing campaign.
The IBHAG and IBF are urging all bondholders, sympathizers, and dependents to join forces and rally behind their cause. Their collective goal is to ensure that the government fulfills its obligations and honors the agreements reached, both in terms of timely payments and the implementation of the MoU.
As the picketing is set to commence, it remains to be seen how the Ministry of Finance will respond to the bondholders’ demands. The ongoing standoff places added pressure on the government to address the concerns of its citizens and find a swift resolution to this disconcerting situation.