Private legal practitioner, Martin Kpebu has taken on President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo for running the country into an economic crisis.
Mr. Kpebu said the president and his government had engaged in reckless borrowing and spending of the country’s resources and ignored warnings by the World Bank that the country risked going bankrupt.
Even when the World Bank presented the country with a debt suspension programme, which he believed would have salvaged it from the impending crisis, the government refused to sign up for it as it could no longer plunder the country’s meagre resources with a subscription to such a programme.
This inaction of the government, he asserted, plunged the country into severe crisis and brought untold hardships on citizens.
“There were signs. Remember, the World Bank gave us a warning at the beginning of 2020 that we were at a high risk of debt distress. Then after COVID started, World Bank came up with a programme, debt suspension. We refused to participate in it because President Akufo-Addo and Ofori-Atta knew that if we do, Databank will no longer get commissions from our borrowing because the World Bank will restrict us. So they didn’t take part in it then landed us in this big problem. Then in the interim, he was bathing in the sky in the private jet and all that,” he catalogued.
But even after putting the country in this difficult state, he added, the president and his government continue to take decisions that aggravate the plight of Ghanaians.
Mr Kpebu, however, believes President Akufo-Addo and members of his government will not go unpunished for the hardships, he said, they are making Ghanaians go through and being insensitive to their plight.
“He is going to pay for it. President Akufo-Addo will pay for this misgovernance, this poor governance, he is going to pay for it. You wait and see,” he fumed.
The human rights activist and legal practitioner made these comments while reacting to the failure of the government to pay the yields of individual bondholders as promised.
The government had committed to resuming payment of matured bonds and outstanding coupons on Monday, March 13, 2023. It, however, failed to resume payments on the said date triggering a reaction from the bondholders.
In a statement issued yesterday, the Coalition of Individual Bondholders demanded the payment of yields due its members within 48 hours.
Later in the evening, the Ministry of Finance released a statement indicating that it will pay principals and coupons which matured on the 6th and 13th of February within 48 hours. However, subsequent matured coupons and principals will be paid on a date it didn’t specify.
But speaking in an interview on Joy FM in Accra, Mr. Martin described this as a slap on the face of the bondholders.
He said it was unacceptable that government continues to disregard the payment plan and aggravate the hardships it has brought upon the bondholders through its mismanagement of the affairs of the country.