A contributor to the Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT) is hell bent on stopping the Trust from going ahead to organize its highly-publicized 50th Anniversary Celebrations.
According to Seth Abloso, the obviously peeved contributor, SSNIT had been using contributors’ funds on wasteful ventures and wants it to stop marking the proposed anniversary.
On September 29, 2015, the petitioner wrote to the National Pensions Regulatory Authority (NPRA) and copies sent to organized labour, detailing the reasons why SSNIT should never be allowed to go ahead with the celebrations.
“As a member of the SSNIT, I consider it my responsibility to draw your attention to advertisements put out in respect of its 50th Anniversary and to request that you take appropriate steps to stop the SSNIT from undertaking the projects indicated because the intended actions are not within its mandate,” the petitioner told NPRA.
Explaining his petition, Mr. Abloso said on Thursday, September 3, 2015 in the DAILY GRAPHIC, SSNIT placed full-page advertisement indicating that it intended to contribute to the “socio-economic development of Ghana as well as supporting the provision of Social Protection in Ghana through three construction projects to be undertaken.”
According to the petitioner, the three projects included the construction of 40 Community Police Stations to be distributed among 11 Police Administrative Regions in pursuance of police discernability across the country as part of SSNIT’s corporate social responsibility.
Mr Seth Abloso also said the Trust intended to construct ultra-modern children’s library to proactively provide what it called “a helping hand in the development of future contributors,” and also build a sports complex “to ignite the passion of sports among Ghanaians.”
“It is inconceivable that the trustees of SSNIT would seek to assume responsibilities that are not in the remit or mandate of the Trust. I understand that in the operation of the social security scheme, the Trust is to ensure the provision of social protection for the working population for various contingencies, including old age, invalidity and death,” Mr Abloso complained.
“In so doing, it is restricted to providing for its membership, who are contributors to the scheme. Can SSNIT assume the responsibility of providing for people of all walks of life or its future contributors?” he queried.
He submitted that “SSNIT’s social protection obligations are restricted and should be restricted to social security contingencies,” adding that “it cannot seek to take on more to ignite any passion or anxiety anywhere.”
He said that ‘certain practices’ of the Trust which include “the assumption of social responsibility to mourn with communities in which it operates, giving back to society and making donations on behalf of Ghana, donating to cater for supporters of the national teams, especially the Black Stars as well as support for potential contributors through the National Sanitation programme, must cease.”
He said for instance, that SSNIT was listed as one of the highest sponsors who helped fly supporters to watch the FIFA World Cup in Brazil last year, contributing a whopping GH¢1 million.
Mr Abloso said further that SNNIT was captured in the media making presentation of cash and drinks to the Asogli Traditional Area, towards the funeral rites of the Agbogbomefia of Ho adding, “It can be assumed that many of such presentations have been made and continue to be made as ‘social responsibility.’”
“Such expenditures are clearly inappropriate and out of order, regardless of the status or standing in society of the personality whose funeral is being observed,” he stressed adding, “Not even the funeral of a president will payment from the coffers of the fund be proper,” the SSNIT contributor pointed out.
He also recalled that SSNIT presented items worth GH¢43,120 to the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development to ensure a clean environment for young people who it says are potential contributors, as well as a donation of GH¢206,440 to the Burns and Plastic Surgical Unit of the Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital.
“The fundamental question that arises is whether or not the SSNIT can make donations, and if so, to whom?”
Mr. Abloso said he petitioned the NPRA because it has the mandate to supervise “efficient and effective administration of pensions towards ensuring retirement income security for the ultimate protection and promotion of the interest of pensioners.”
He said the NPRA is obliged to regulate the activities of SSNIT to ensure compliance with the provisions of the National Pensions Act, as amended.”
By William Yaw Owusu