Story: News Desk
The Pensioner Bondholders Forum has called off its picketing at the Ministry of Finance following an agreement it had with the Ministry of Finance.
Members of the Forum had been picketing at the Ministry for five consecutive days which prompted a meeting between the parties and an arrangement to pay the outstanding coupons and principals commencing May 15.
The Forum in a statement however indicated that should the Ministry renege on any of the points on the agreement, its members shall resume picketing.
Full statement of the Forum
SUSPENSION OF PICKETING THE MINISTRY OF FINANCE
1. Following delays in the payment of coupons and matured principals to pensioners exempted by the government from the Domestic Debt Exchange Programme, we submitted a letter to the Finance Minister on 30th March 2023, and advised that pensioners be paid all their outstanding coupons and principals by 21st April 2023, and make payments of subsequent coupons and principals as and when due, and without delays.
2. At the time of writing our letter of 30th March 2023, there were thirteen (13) coupons and two (2) principals in arrears with the earliest due amount being in arrears for thirty-eight (38) days.
3. We advised in our letter of 30th March 2023, which was copied to the Speaker of Parliament that if the anomalous situation we were complaining about was not resolved by 21st April 2023, we shall be left with no other option than to resume picketing the Ministry to further press home our demand for the payment of all coupons and principals in arrears, and an end to payment delays.
4. In a meeting with the Ministry on 14th April 2023, we extended the deadline given to 28th April 2023 to allow the Ministry additional one week to resolve the delayed payments.
5. The Minister failed to make any payment to us by 28th April 2023, so we notified the police and resumed our picketing on 8th May 2023.
6. On Friday, 12th May 2023, which was the fifth (5th) day of the picketing, we had a meeting with Hon. Mohammed Amin Adam, the Minister of State of the Ministry in the afternoon, and agreed on the following:
i. The Ministry to give instruction for the payment of all outstanding coupons (including those due on 15th May 2023) to pensioners by 15th May 2023.
ii. The Ministry to pay subsequent coupons to pensioners on due days.
iii. The Ministry and Pensioner Bondholders to, in the next few days, meet and reach an agreement on the payment of all outstanding principals to pensioners.
7. As a result of the agreement reached with the Ministry on the payment of outstanding coupons and principals to pensioners, we are hereby suspending our picketing from Monday, 15th May 2023.
8. Should the Ministry renege on any of the agreed points, we shall resume picketing the Ministry.