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After several publications about corruption and broad-day light stealing of workers' contributions to the Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT), without any sign of the new administration instituting a probe into the operations of the Institution, the workers are said to be considering embarking upon demonstrations to solicit public support.

It all began with the report that the former Director General, Mr. Kwasi Osei, allegedly took home GH¢155,000 as his social security payment, while records of how much he contributed to the Scheme over the eight years he served as the Director General cannot be found. Besides, the workers have raised alarm over the disappearance of some vehicles belonging to the institution, which they allege are in the possession of previous and current Director General.

Currently what could be igniting trouble at SSNIT is the Staff Re-alignment exercise being undertaken by the institution on recommendations of the Human Resource Consultant.

It is reported that SSNIT is about to dish out over GH¢500,000 (¢5 billion) of workers' Social Security contributions to the General Manager Administration/Human Resource as an early voluntary exit package, even though he retired on the 12 September 2009 at age 60.

Certainly at his age, he does not suffer any financial loss by way of early retirement, but in order for the deal to go through, Mr. Kwasi Boatin, the current Kufuor-appointed Director General, who was previously the General Manager, Finance and his team have intentionally made it possible for persons who would be retiring in two years to include their names in this broad-day light stealing called Early/Voluntary Exit Package.

In view of the nine months that the Director General has not relinquished his former position as GM, Finance, but has rather given it in an acting capacity to his incompetent crony and GM,MIS, one can hardly expect any good thing in store for SSNIT. According to our sources at SSNIT, the institution is also about to dispense with the services of about 432 of its personnel which would cost the pension fund a lot of money.

The workers have vehemently complained against the Staff Re-alignment Exercise, which is going to render that large number of workers redundant, calling it bogus and shoddy. To them, the fact that SSNIT will render young and energetic staff members redundant, while the perpetrators siphon workers contribution in millions of Ghana cedis to guarantee an opulent pension, cannot be countenanced. They argue that the re-alignment exercise and the attendant voluntary exit are going to cost the Trust and workers who are contributors to the new pension scheme millions of Ghana Cedis of investible money.

Already President Mills and the Chairman of the Pensions Regulatory Board are reported to have cautioned fund managers of the danger during the recent launch of the New Pension Scheme. The workers worry that since the SSNIT management has done nothing about reversing the decision about the re-alignment exercise, it is obvious that the caution from the President and the Chairman have not sunk into the heads of the SSNIT hierarchy.

They are convinced that their bosses are bent on going ahead with the Voluntary Exit exercise even though between September 2009 and 2010 over a third of the people they want to distribute millions of Ghana Cedis to would be 60 years and would be due for retirement.

In what the workers see as a daylight robbery by top management, it is alleged that Mr. O. K. Adu Bonsra, General Manager, Administration/Human Resource, who is to retire on 12 September 2009 is by the dubious arrangement to rather leave at the end of the month together with his boss Mr. Kwasi Boatin, the Director General, and are very instrumental in dishing out huge packages to themselves, as they decide who stays and who leaves.

The workers have also observed a grand deceitful plan to be unleashed by the perpetrators of the voluntary exit. It has come to light that no member of staff of SSNIT, except those in the cabal perpetrating the act and their cronies, know which positions and job functions would be lost or made redundant. They claim that members of staff who would be affected do not know anything about what is going to happen, stating that if the exercise were useful how come one cannot exercise an option in this regard if the so-called positions that would be lost or made redundant are not known to them.

Workers consider the attempt to ask for voluntary exit the mother of all deceit, since it is to ask all staff to avail themselves of what they call package, but which the workers describe as 'loot', by applying to go on voluntary retirement.

They foresee that any staff not due for retirement but refuses to leave voluntarily under the exercise is bound to lose money, and that the grand plan is to compel all to leave. 'It is compulsory by all indications,' they said. This paper is informed that some of the General Managers who are part of the cabal are encouraging well-qualified staff to take advantage of the loot, because the members of the cabal pushing for the voluntary exit have themselves applied to leave and that is where their dubious antics begin. The workers have detected that those General Managers who form the cabal are deliberately applying to leave and encouraging others to loot the Trust through the following grand design:

a) To entice persons perceived to be anti-cabal/looters to apply so they can get rid of them without any difficulty.

b) To include the current but retired (12/09/09) GM, Admin/H/R to enable him go home with some cool GH¢500,000 of workers social security contributions. This is stealing and these crooks should be called to order.

c) To see off persons who the cabal thinks can be useful to any immediate or future inquiry in SSNIT, so that when they are no long there traces of their misdeeds could be wiped off for good.

d) Finally, to hand over SSNIT to their cronies by filling all the strategic vacancies with their agents, as has been the NPP's game plan. (Remember the case about the vacant position of General Manager, Finance. After this paper reported on the matter they have now posted internal adverts for SSNIT staff to apply after KPMG Consultancy had done the job and those shortlisted having been interviewed by the cabal.

The sad thing about these developments is that the retired G.M, Admin/HR who is still at post till the end of the month by the magnanimity of SSNIT, in his memo to the entire staff gave only two weeks to exit.

In the midst of all these disturbing developments, Dr. Prosper Ayisah, the President of the senior staff association, which numbers over one thousand two hundred staff, has kept quiet.

The rumour making the rounds among members of staff as gathered by this paper is the cabal has tagged him as an NDC operative planted to undo them, and for that matter he has been cowed. All attempts by this paper to reach him proved negative and it is believed he is afraid to go public on the matter.

We fervently believe that the new administration, unlike the previous corrupt administration of the NP, would do everything to rescue SSNIT and workers as a whole in this country for a better Ghana.

What President Mills must note is that his campaign message is still fresh in the minds of the people, and in the case of SSNIT, all those monies going into private pockets could be used to do workers and the country a lot of good. The goings-on at SSNIT are reckless and senseless, and can explode in the face of his government!

Source: The Ghanaian Democrat

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