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Govt unilaterally rolls over matured cocoa bills

The government has rolled over cocoa bills that matured Thursday, January 20, without the investors’ consent, a move that has sparked anxiety among the investor community.

Investors received payments for the matured bills on Friday, but their accounts were quickly debited, leading to agitations between some holders and their banks.

“I received payments and was planning to move the funds to my business account to pay some bills, only for me to see that the transaction has been reversed. I don’t know how to pay my suppliers now,” an investor who asked not to be mentioned told 3Business.

The rolled-over bills, at a yield of 30.78%, will mature on July 20, 2023, according to notifications received by the holders.

However, some investors withdrew their funds before the payments were reversed. But their accounts have since been debited.

The affected cocoa bill, a short-term instrument, was issued on July 21, 2022, and matured on January 19.

It is unclear why the bills were unilaterally rolled over because short-term instruments have been exempted from the government’s domestic debt exchange programme, which is yet to take effect.

Government has this year paid interest on two different bonds that matured on the 3rd and 16th of January, respectively, indicating that the state is yet to default on its short-term instruments.

While the move will add to investor concerns about the state of affairs, it will dampen confidence in government assets in the future.

Sani Abdul-Rahman – 3Business

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