SSNIT scandal: Organised Labour backs probe

Yaw Baah TUC BOSS Dr Yaw Baah, Secretary General of the TUC

Thu, 31 Aug 2017 Source: thefinderonline.com

Organised Labour has thrown its weight behind ongoing investigations into the numerous scandals that have bedevilled the Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT).

The Trade Union Congress says it expects the audit to be conducted with dispatch and the outcome made public.

Dr Yaw Baah, Secretary General of the TUC, in a statement, said: “We welcome the audit commissioned by the Board of Directors. The TUC will await the outcome of the audit before taking further action.”

He assured the working people of Ghana and the general public that it will work with the other representatives of labour on the SSNIT Board to secure the fund.

“We urge managers of SSNIT to recognise that the retirement income security of millions of Ghanaian workers is in their hands and that any act that jeopardises the pension scheme will not be tolerated.”

It has emerged that representatives of Organised Labour on the Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT) Board which took the now very unpopular decision to purchase a malfunctioning Operational Business Suite (OBS) that cost a whopping $72m never reported back to the labour unions.

General Secretary of the Industrial and Commercial Workers Union (ICU), Solomon Kotei, in an interview on Joy FM, said all four representatives from Organised Labour on the board of SSNIT never reported on the award of the project.

According to him, although the four representatives were duty-bound to provide feedback to the workers on the management of their investments, they failed to do so.

“Information flow is really not coming because those who represent Organised Labour seldomly shared information as to what is really happening until trouble triggers before you hear the effort of the board...there hasn’t been any feedback from them,” Mr Kotei noted.

This claim was corroborated by General Secretary of the Ghana Federation of Labour (GFL), Abraham Koomson, when The Finder contacted him on the matter.

This brings to question whose interest the representatives of labour have been serving on the SSNIT Board.

According to Abraham Koomson, the federation supports any government action in ensuring that workers’ monies are protected.

He noted that news of happenings at SSNIT did not come as any surprise because the writings were on the wall, which pointed to the fact that if nothing was done in the immediate, the fund was heading for a total collapse.

It would be recalled that the then vice-presidential nominee of the New Patriotic Party, Dr Bawumia, recommended an urgent review of the Social Security and National Insurance Trust’s investments and costs to ensure its financial sustainability.

Dr Bawumia made reference to a 2016 World Bank report of governance of SSNIT, which, he said, indicated that “the actuarial valuation shows that the fund will become a cash flow negative in 2019 and all assets will be used up by 2031.”

Abraham Koomson also reiterated the need for SSNIT to be properly restructured to save it from collapse.

He also recommended a thorough investigation into the operations of SSNIT and to bring to book all persons found culpable.

“Government has a duty to investigate these matters,” he stressed.

The unions are yet to convene a meeting to discuss the matter.

Meanwhile, the Public Procurement Authority (PPA) has indicated its readiness to initiate separate investigations into the scandal that has dominated media space in the last few days.

The Chief Executive of the PPA, Agyenim Boateng Adjei, told Citi News, in an interview, that his outfit is awaiting the report by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PWC) before commencing investigations.

Currently, the scandal at SSNIT is being investigated by the Economic and Organised Crime Office (EOCO).

The anti-draft agency yesterday raided the premises of Perfect Business Systems, the IT firm behind the controversial $72 million SSNIT software deal.

Source: thefinderonline.com
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