Former President John Dramani Mahama has urged the Government to hold more dialogue with bondholders to reach consensus on addressing the nation’s debt restructuring programme.
He made the appeal in a public lecture at Chatham House in London on the topic “Africa’s Strategic Priorities and Global Role.”
He said the period for the debt restructuring had been extended three times and wondered if the deadline of January 31 would be met.
He reiterated that the longer the debt restructuring delayed, the more it would prevent the country from going to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) Board and called for speedy conclusion of negotiations.
He further appealed to the Finance Minister to sit with the bondholders and discuss the issue and reach a consensus.
“I am not opposed to debt restructuring. Debt restructuring is a condition precedent to getting an IMF programme and Ghana needs to do a debt restructuring to be able to go into a programme,” Mr Mahama stated.
“What had been the contention is the lack of dialogue and consultation with the bondholders on the domestic side. I know currently negotiations are taking place with the bondholders on the external side, not the same treatment with the domestic bondholders.”
Mr Mahama said he had been an advocate for dialogue; saying “before this whole crisis started, I advised the Government, I said hold a national dialogue on the economy; give what the state of the economy is and let everybody buy into it and understand and then after that seek a broad consensus behind your economic programme.”
He noted that his suggestion was never taken by the Government.
He said the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) kept raising the red flags since 2019 about Government’s borrowing programme of raising of three billion dollars in the euro bond market every year and not investing in the productive sectors of the economy.
He said the Government must be prepared to make more sacrifices just as it was asking the people to do the same.