YOURS TRULY, once upon a time, travelled out of Kwame Okro’s homeland to seek greener pastures in Deutschland. I lived in Leipzig until an unfortunate incident compelled me to return to my homeland. The brazen racist tendencies I experienced made me vow never to relocate to any Obroniland to seek greener pastures.
Unfortunately, happenings in the country since December have made me revise my notes. I no longer see a better future in Asomdwekrom for me and my kids. If an Elephant government, which prides itself in being a better manager of the economy, could make things so messy, then I wonder the depth the “Incompetent One” and his eagle-headed Umbrella could sink this country to.
The term ‘debt exchange’ is one of the most frequently used phrases in the country today. The Nana Dee government, through the Finance Ministry, announced a debt exchange programme dubbed “Domestic Debt Exchange (DDE)” programme. The government is swapping the initial agreement (the time and promised interest) it had with the bondholders with a new one (new interests and duration), hence the term debt exchange.
The announcement generated a lot of hubbub, leading to threats of strike by various labour unions. But the government averted those strikes by mending sections of the programme to appease the labour unions.
Those up in arms now are individual bondholders, including pensioners. I couldn’t help but shed tears when I saw septuagenarian and octogenarian pensioners leave the comfort of their homes to picket at the precincts of the Finance Ministry. “Is this how my retirement will look like in a decade’s time?” I soliloquised.
For the first time in over two decades, I began to consider the idea of relocating to Obroniland to seek greener pastures. I may be advanced in age, but I still have a decade or more to hustle in Obroniland to give my children a better future than what Asomdwekrom could ever offer.
I love the Great Elephant; it is the reason I will look the Nana Dee government in the eye and tell it the bitter truth. The DDE programme is not the panacea to our economic woes. All the DDE brouhaha is because of $3 billion from the IMF. If we do not address the root cause of the problem, which is reckless spending, the $3 billion will come and we shall continue to wallow in economic mess.
Former Chief Justice, Sophia Akuffo, did not mince words when she said the government had done nothing to show the pensioners and other individual bondholders why they should accept the austerity measures the government was proposing. Indeed, how can political appointees be living like Arab Sultans and expect the poor pensioner to accept the draconian DDE programme.
Abusuapanin, did the IMF not give us $1 billion Rapid Facility in 2020 and added $1.5 billion Special Drawing Rights Facility in 2021? The World Bank also gave us over $1.3 billion. Not to talk of funds from the EU and the African Development Bank. Cumulatively, we received over $6 billion in COVID-19 funds alone.
So, you see, the funds will continue to flow in. But we will continue to wallow in serious economic mess until we check the profligate expenditure. President Nana Dee has failed woefully in protecting the public purse. I’m ashamed to say it, but that is the bitter truth!
Sometimes, I’m tempted to think that President Nana Dee does not want his party to break the eight. If not, why is he behaving as if we are in normal times? Why is the President not making any effort to reduce the over-bloated belly of the Elephant? Why is he not talking about the possibility of suspending ex-gratia of political appointees, Members of Parliament, etc?
Mr. President need not be reminded that the DDE programme has given his government too much negative publicity. Like the E-Levy palaver, the DDE Programme is likely to fail. If even it does not, is the bad publicity not enough to ruin the party’s chances of breaking the eight?
In the meantime, do not be judgmental when you see yours truly begging for money from friends and family. It’s because the government he so loves has suddenly turned him into a pauper. We have the men “mpo nie”!
See you next week for another interesting konkonsa, Deo volente!