The Investigative Bureau of the Weekly Standard can confirm that the current Director General of the Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT), Mr. Kwesi Boateng, has supervised the payment of a whooping sum in the region of 6.6 billion old cedis (GH˘660,000) to the former Director General, of SSNIT, Mr. Akwesi Osei.
This, the Weekly Standard can also confirm, is seriously raising eyebrows among SSNIT staff and industry players, some of whom spoke with this paper to get their perspective on the issue. Indeed, the prevailing view among SSNIT staff is that the action of the Director General is illegal and smacks of cronyism and the beginnings of a system of “let the Director Generals take care of each other”.
The Weekly Standard can confirm that the Director General caused to be paid to his predecessor a total of GH˘497 (497 billion old Cedis Ghana cedis) as End of Service Benefits for the 8years that he headed SSNIT.
The Director General, the Weekly Standard can further confirm, also approved a whopping GH˘166,000 (166 billion old cedis) as social security lump sum payment to his predecessor, an amount that was promptly paid just three weeks after he left office in December last year.
Although the Public Relations Officer of SSNIT, Rev. Osei Bimpong, in an interview denied any wrong doing on the part of the Director General in relation to the approval of the ESB and other benefits for the previous Director General, SSNIT staff insist that the approval of the benefits as well as the figure involved do not meet with proper procedure.
SSNIT staff complains that there are no official documentation to show how the figures were arrived at. Our checks at the SSNIT revealed that the amount was paid through the Standard Chartered account of SSNIT at a time when the governing Board of SSNIT had been dissolved. This phenomenon is in sharp contrast with the how the former Director General in the NDC administration, Mr. Charles Asare who after being booted out of office by the administration was paid ESB of GH˘ 3,500 (35 million old cedis) after serving for the same period of his eight years.
Further checks at the Actuarial Department said the normal procedure is that any amount more than 500 Ghana Cedis (5 million) must go through proper valuation before payment is done. Mr. Kwesi Boateng’s actions, according to a source, is an affront to PNDC law 247 now act 766 which talks about social security contributions, where one has to declare how much was contributed over a period before calculations are done. “In the case of Mr. Akwasi Osei, no such thing was done, and nobody knows how much he contributed before he was allowed to part away with such a huge amount,” a SSNIT source lamented.
Confirming the complaints, another SSNIT source told this paper that, “sure, we have not sighted any documents on the former D-G’s contributions. The only documents that was sighted was his social security document in 2002, and that was before he was employed as Director General of SSNIT, and even with that one, he had not done any contributions.”
Some of the workers this paper spoke to stated that with regards to social security, everybody is bound by law to produce statement before payment is done but in this case they see it as a system where the current Director General manipulated to his advantage before he was promoted to the position of Director General.
Speaking to Rev Osei Bempong the PRO of SSNIT he confirmed that “yes the money had been paid to the former boss but it went through the right procedure and that if there was something wrong with it, the current Board would have raised queries about it.” Until his appointment as Director General, Mr. Kwesi Boateng, who happens to be the nephew of former President Kufour, was the General Manager of Finance at SSNIT.
Source: Weekly Standard
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