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General News of Friday, 25 August 2017

Source: Nii Ogbamey Tetteh

I was not in office when $66 million was used to buy software - Joshua Alabi

A former board Chairman of the Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT) Professor Joshua Alabi has distanced himself from the contract that procured a $77 million software for the Trust.

According to the professor, he wasn't the board chair of SSNIT when the contract sum was approved hence cannot be held be responsible for it.

Speaking on ‘EpaHoaDaben’ a political show on Happy Fm, he said, his board queried the contract when their attention was drawn to it.

He further clarified that the figure was not only for the software.

He said the software was for $7 million and the rest went to other cost and management of SSNIT old systems including the biometric system.

‘’It was not only software but it included other costs.’’

He also lamented over the calling of the old board members as thieves when an audit firm has been contracted to audit and present a report.

He described it as an unfair situation and has cautioned Ghanaians to be circumspect in their comments.

He opined that the current administration has failed to allow due process follow and using the media to attack people unfairly.

‘’The report is not out and yet you are accusing people of being thieves. Working in Ghana as a public servant is extremely difficult,’’ he said.

The Economic and Organized Crime Office (EOCO) is investigating more than the $72 million information system software procured by the Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT), the Director-General Dr. John Ofori Tenkorang.

The cost for the software has generated debate among Ghanaians. Currently, the Board of Trustees of SSNIT has begun investigations into the matter.

The system was installed to network all branches of SSNIT nationwide to enhance efficiency but the current administration has questioned the cost and has contracted Price Water house to audit the transaction.

EOCO is currently investigating five former officials of SSNIT in connection with what has been alleged to be a case of financial malfeasance.

The Director-General added that, “We’ve just launched an independent baseline review of SSNIT as of the date that we assumed office. I think that during that exercise there would be some determination as to what processes followed, what we have, whether it is really working well and whether we got a good deal or not. I think there would be some light on that subject.”

But commenting on the matter Prof. Alabi said the way and manner the issue has been managed is unfortunate and if care is not taken, the youth of Ghana will take the law into their own hand s and attack politicians.

"The situation in Ghana today is that party B after winning power witch-hunt party A and because of that the youth will begin to pounce on politicians and that is what I am corned about. We have to stop all these things before things go haywire,’’ he noted.