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Business News of Friday, 20 April 2018

Source: dailyguideafrica.com

SSNIT makes strides

Dr John Ofori-Tenkorang, Director-General of the Social Security & National Insurance Trust (SSNIT), has revealed that the Trust has chalked successes in recent times.

Speaking to journalists on Wednesday in Accra at a press conference, Dr Ofori-Tenkorang emphasised: “When we came about a year ago, we were having trouble even paying pensions. Each time we had to make certain payments we had to disinvest some of our near cash instruments in order to raise cash to pay.”

“I can assure you that as of today, we have been able to build a cash reserve of about a GH¢1 billion in treasury instruments. Our management account from 2017 compared to 2016 showed that in 2016, the fund lost badly to the tune of about GH¢18 million to GH¢19 million.

New cash

“In 2017, our management account showed that we had added about GH¢970 million to the fund. We have also done a lot of other things such as cutting a lot of expenses.”

Cut in travel costs

He said when the new board took over, a whopping GH¢7.34 million had been budgeted for travel and accommodation.

“But because the new management was poised to cut such expenses, we went through the year and we have only spent GH¢1.9 million.”

In an interview with Accra-based Citi Fm yesterday, Dr Ofori-Tenkorang, stated that his predecessor Ernest Thompson and other officals travelled on first-class tickets on foreign trips.

He said he cancelled such benefits and opted for business class when he assumed office as part of measures to drastically reduce expenses.

The SSNIT Director-General said when he assumed office, he also realized that there were a lot of overseas travels for the staff of the company.

“In terms of attending conferences, training sessions and others and depending on your position within the organisation, you will fly business class or economy.”

Sacked staff

He stated that about 10 staff of SSNIT had been dismissed in the last few months for possessing fake certificates.

“We had people who were in the system who didn’t even have certificates. And you know there was a flagship one (Mr. Afaglo). Since then, I instructed that the certificates of all employees should be vetted and that vetting is still going on, but we’ve had to terminate about 10 or so staff for possessing fake certificates,” he said.

Checks

He averred: “We have put a lot of controls in place. I think one of the main reasons that made things to break down here was that there were a lot of processes, checks and balances in the organization which were not functional. Also, we had certain committees like the investment committee, all kinds of management committees which were supposed to be meeting but were not meeting.”

Restructuring

“We have restructured all of that and now everything has to go through a process. So you don’t have one person basically having to make decisions without going through the proper channels. I have also made changes in the procurement department.”

Hampers

In 2016, he said the cost of Christmas hampers alone was close to a million Ghana cedis.

“In 2017, we decided there will be no hampers.”

He said: “We have deactivated 7,844 pensioners who are presumed not to be living and that’s saving us GH¢3.5 million a month.”