The founder of the Millar Open University and individual bond holder, Professor David Millar, is worried that the President, Nana Akufo-Addo, and his Finance Minister, Ken Ofori Atta, are not grasping the actual consequence of their insistence on individual bond holders in the ongoing Domestic Debt Exchange (DDE).
As part of the government’s effort to secure board level agreement for an IMF programme, it launched the Domestic Debt Exchange programme in December last year. The programme was to help the government restructure its debt and prove debt sustainability. The government included individual bond holders in its attempts to satisfy the pre-conditions for an IMF deal.
The decision was met with stiff opposition by the individual bond holders.
When Professor Millar spoke at a round table discussion on A1 Radio’s Day Break Upper East Show, he expressed worry about losing the value of his investments.
“I am a bond holder; quite a substantial amount. We were made to understand that it was the most secure way of keeping your money. The government bonds served as a very secure place to put your money. [I want to start] with the borrowing spree we went on. For me, borrowing is not the problem. The problem is what you use the borrowed funds to do. You can borrow excessively and invest in such a way that you pay plus profits. This is what we missed. That is where the government failed.”
The founder of the Millar Open University added that people around the age of the President and the Finance Minister could have their lives shortened due to the impact of the DDE on individual bond holders.
“Finance Minister is about 64. The President is about 74. They are not sympathetic to their age group. That age category is on life support machines. Literally, what they are doing, and they know is, we are going to unplug the life support machines and let them all go to hell.”
“I know the Finance Minister is on life support medication, and so is the President. Ask them: if you are not able to get that, what happens? They are now passing that one on to people. Here is a country that has LEAP, to support people who are disadvantaged socially. The same country turns around and says, these disadvantaged groups, the money you have earned over a lifetime, we are going to take it away from you and you can go to hell and beyond. That is the human part that is missing in all this discourse. The government doesn’t appreciate that,” he said.
As an individual bond holder, Professor Millar insisted that he had no interest in signing onto the current arrangement.
“Some of us have said, we won’t sign anything. In any case, if I sign onto it, in 15 years, I would be 80 getting to 90. For God sake, I won’t be sitting here. I would either be dead by then or have no use for that money. It would have depreciated seriously to mean nothing. You give an oldman, a 90 year old man Ghc100,000, what is he going to do with it?,” he asked.
Professor Millar insisted that if the government had engaged the bond holders before the announcement of the programme, the result would have been different.
Source: A1radioonline.com|101.1MHz|Mark Kwasi Ahumah Smith|Ghana