A 65-year-old pensioner, Larry Jiagge has said he will contemplate ending his life if the government insists on including individual bonds in the Domestic Debt Exchange programme.
The old man said he has invested all his severance package into government bonds and will struggle to survive if his coupons are withheld.
According to him, his investment is his only source of income to get medication and feed himself.
Speaking in an interview on Joy FM’s, Super Morning Show, on Wednesday, he said “why can’t they (government) be very specific and tell us that if we don’t participate we will lose our money, then some of us will commit suicide rather than go through the pain.”
“The information out there is very minimal. You will talk to your bankers and they will tell you that is all the information we have, this is what we’ve been told. We are also waiting for additional information,” he said.
The 65-year-old pensioner is not certain he will live to receive his matured investment if the government goes ahead with the programme.
“I am 65 and assuming they spread my bond for 15 years, I will be 80 years old then, and very few men in my family cross 80. Am I going to access my capital in my grave? Those taking this decision, are they thinking about pensioners, grown people who have to buy drugs? The unemployed who lost their jobs during the financial sector restructuring and whatever they have they invested in government securities? Have we committed any crime?” he asked.
Many have accused the government of treating them unfairly and also for failing to provide enough information on the modalities of the exchange programme.
The Ghana Individual Bondholders Forum (IBF), a group of voluntary bondholders, has also urged individual bondholders to reject and refrain from complying with the mandatory deadline imposed under the Domestic Debt Exchange (DDE) programme.
It rather wants them to join the efforts of the IBF.
IBF said “this arrangement irreversibly takes away the wealth and livelihoods of direct and indirect individual bondholders whose only crime has been to trust their government. Tied to this is a mandatory deadline which compels holders to either accept the government’s offer or risk the threat of prohibitive losses”.