Prime News Ghana

SSNIT seeks strategic investors over non-performing assets

By PrimeNewsGhana
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The Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT) has begun the process of roping in strategic private partners to take over the helm of some of its legacy investments, Director-General, Dr. John Ofori-Tenkorang has said.

According to Dr. Ofori-Tenkorang, following review of the company’s investments, the existing ones they do not have proper oversight, management has decided to hand those responsibilities to prospective investors who are skilled in that area.

Speaking to Business24 after they appeared before the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) on Wednesday, he said “There were quite some few issues that we have to deal with, majority of the issues have to do with legacy investments and some of them going back as far as 1996 and what has happened is that, our job is to make sure that whatever investment that we are not performing, we taking steps to make sure they perform.

Some of the things that we have done is that, our investments that we do not have proper oversight control or we are the majority shareholders, we have gone out to try and seek private sector participation specifically in our hotels -so that people who know how to make money in that business get into the driver’s seat and we tag along.”

Further, he stated that “There are certain things like how we do our investments appraisals and what kind of investments structures or vehicles we put in place to undertake these investments. We have revised our investment guidelines to ensure that for example, SSNIT will not get into a joint venture, with a party who is a minority shareholder and that party ends up getting all the construction contract. So this and many other things that we have put in place to make sure that proper due diligence is done before we enter into investments and also to make sure that the oversight is improved.”

READ ALSO : TUC demands total overhaul of SSNIT

A 2020 report of the Auditor General on Public Boards, statutory institutions for the period ending revealed that SSNIT has more than ¢440 million locked up in non-performing investment.

21,000 ‘ghost’ pensioners removed

Responding to questions from members of PAC over financial malfeasances when officials of the Trust appeared before them, Dr.Ofori-Tenkorang indicated that they have removed more than 21,000 ‘ghost’ pensioners from the scheme after it embarked on measures to ensure prompt payment of pensions.

He also revealed that in 2018, the Trust changed the Pensioner Certificate renewal frequency from once every three years to once a year in a move to promptly identify and delete deceased pensioners aged 72 years and above.

Dr Ofori-Tenkorang said SSNIT has since implemented several measures to tackle issues concerning deceased pensioners.

These include; Electronic tracking of the one-year Pensioner Certificate renewal policy; and Automatic deactivation of names of Pensioners due for annual Pensioner Certificates Renewal in the new Operational System.

The Auditor-General’s report which made the adverse findings against SSNIT covered the periods 2017 to 2019.

Most of the queries were however found to be legacy issues spanning more than two decades.

The management of the Trust also informed the Committee that it has tackled the majority of the issues, and instituted measures, and policies to avert future occurrences.