Vulnerable must not suffer in Domestic Debt Exchange – Consultant
A Banking Consultant says Ghana’s quest for a Domestic Debt Exchange Programme (DDEP) must be well packaged to ensure that the vulnerable in society would not suffer.
“Restructuring domestic debt is surgery. You only do it if you must, and you avoid it if it might do more harm than good,” Reverend Edward Randolph-Koranteng, the banking consultant explained.
He noted that the vulnerable in society included some banks due to the key conceptual framework of the International Financial Reporting standards (IFRS).
Reverend Edward Randolph-Koranteng, who is also the Board Chairman of the Ghana India Trade Advisory Chamber, in an interview with the Ghana News Agency (GNA) encouraged the government to thoroughly research into the subject.
That, he said, should be followed with broader consultations with industry players and financial institutions to avert any political suicide.
He explained that political suicide was a concept by which a politician or political party loses widespread support and confidence from the voting public by proposing actions that are seen as unfavourable or that might threaten the status quo.
Rev. Randolph-Koranteng said the government should not play the ostrich and overlook the concerns of the public to have a pyrrhic victory as such victories only inflicted devastating toll on the victor and was tantamount to defeat,
“Such a score of victory negates any true sense of achievement or damages long-term progress.
The Banking Consultant noted the need to have a bipartisan approach to handling this precarious situation regarding the DDEP through extensive stakeholder engagement to get everyone’s buy-in before implementation.
Any further politicization of the DDEP irrespective of the political divide could lead to a catastrophic result and any political party with foresight would have to avoid a pyrrhic victory, where you kill a mosquito with a sledgehammer on your forehead.
“You don’t want to win power to become worse off”, he added.
The Banking Consultant said though it might appear that the DDEP was necessary in the present circumstances, it must be packaged in a way that would not hurt society.
He said: “Economics cannot be devoid of politics but if we overpoliticise our economy and fail to look at the realities in the national interest, it could be more fatal than we can imagine.
“…The government must work at gaining trust, the second most important factor consumers consider when buying financial products.”
The Ghana India Trade Advisory Chamber Board Chairman also advised Ghanaians to demonstrate love for country and radically increase productivity at all levels of economy with a changed mindset.
“We need to boost our exports…Until we practically work on our weak economic fundamentals, no government can save us from the cyclical economic mess and depreciation of the Ghana Cedi and IMF cannot ware our pampers for us as a nation which is over 60 years,” he explained
Turning attention to the IMF bailout, he said the USD 3billion injection by IMF would only be a temporary support to keep the economy alive.
“This would give us room to do the needful adding,” the consultant said, adding, “these monies are not a cure to our economic issues, you do not borrow to consume as we have done since independence, but you borrow to invest.
” For instance, if part of the monies borrowed had been utilized to set up factories to process the country’s raw materials example bauxite, revive most defunct factories or rehabilitate Tema Oil Refinery, the country should have been able to sustain its debt.
He also called for a well thought through national vision for domestication and consuming what was locally grown to decrease reliance on foreign goods and excessive pressure on the Ghana Cedi.