Business News of Tuesday, 19 February 2013

Source: B&FT

B&FT wins SSNIT awards

Business and Financial Times (B&FT) has been adjudged the Overall Best -- Print Category, while Mr. Andrews Agblobi won the award for Best Social Security Reporter in the maiden SSNIT “Best Social Security Awards” held in Accra.

B&FT received a plaque and a desk-top computer while Mr. Agblobi gets an all-expenses paid two-week training course on pensions and social security at the ILO-International Training Centre (ITC) facility in Turin, Italy, and a plaque,

Other award winners were Mr. Charles Benoni Okine from the Daily Graphic and Madam Dzifa Emma Tetteh, Ghanaian Times, second and first runners-up respectively. They both received plaques.

Uniq FM won the Best Social Security Reporter, Radio Category, grabbing a plaque and a desk-top computer.

The objective of the awards is to encourage the media to get involved in educating the public on social security.

Mr. Frank Odoom, Director-General of SSNIT, touched on the rationale behind the event: “SSNIT recognises the effective role of the media in projecting, informing and educating the public about social security issues such as contribution-collection, investments and payment of benefits.

“We strongly believe the media awards will motivate journalists to educate the public and themselves about the new three-tier pension scheme introduced through Act 766 and social security in general.

“The awards will promote increased awareness, not only on social security but also the mechanics of social protection.”

Mr. Odoom said the underpinning aim of the awards is to empower journalists to be worthy ambassadors of social security to the public, and also extend SSNIT’s corporate social responsibility to the media.

“Concerns have been raised about how well the Ghanaian knows about social security. We live in a society where people start to ask questions about social security only when they are about to retire or are faced with the loss of income or the death of a breadwinner who was a member of the Social Security Scheme.

“In spite of numerous educational programmes, the understanding of the subject of social security is still very low. The majority of Ghanaians remain uninformed about the Scheme, and the fourth estate is not an exception,” Mr. Odoom noted.

SSNIT currently has over a million active contributors and about 120,000 pensioners on the pension payroll.

The contributor population is increasing at about 4% annually whilst the pensioner population is increasing about 11% annually.

This, according to the SSNIT boss, is not a good balance for a social security scheme and reiterated the need for employers to register more workers to balance the equation.

“It is important to emphasise that all manner of workers can contribute to the SSNIT scheme irrespective of the work they do. We are appealing to you as the Fourth Estate to also expose employers who deny workers their basic rights by not contributing on their behalf,” he said.