Gold Fields, Others Owe SSNIT GH¢37 m

The Western Regional office of the Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT) has taken legal action to retrieve social security contributions and penalties to the tune of GH¢37 million from about 21 defaulting employers in the Western and Central regions. This was after the expiration of the public notice given to the employers to honour their obligations under the National Pensions Act 2008, Act 766. Confirming the story in an interview with CITY & BUSINESS GUIDE, Stephen Asamoah, Western and Central Regional Area Manager of SSNIT indicated that the amount owed by the employers was negatively affecting the operations of the Trust and administration of the Pension Fund. Mr. Asamoah told the paper that the employers were obliged to submit their contribution reports by the end of every month and to pay the right contributions of their workers by the 14th day of every ensuing month to avoid the imposition of penalties on the unpaid contributions. The Area Manager of SNNIT noted that majority of large paying establishments in the area failed to submit the contribution reports and the necessary payments. He mentioned the heavily-indebted companies as Gold Fields Ghana Limited, GH¢125,634.70; Ghana Prime Wood Product, GH¢812,578.53; Intex Company Limited, GH¢98,096.43; African Mining Services, GH¢85,391.81; African Underground Mining GH¢33,649.94; Bly Ghana Limited, GH¢50,423.09; Drill Masters Africa, GH¢33,418.02 and Willstan Civil and Mining Limited, GH¢33,394.73. The rest included Egem Services Limited, GH¢23,101.12; Initiative Consult Limited GH¢17,585.19; Philipson Enterprise, GH¢15,527.76; O.A Travel and Tours Limited, GH¢ 14,328.92; Short Body Engineering GH¢ 28,782.36 and Ref Engineering Limited, GH¢ 12,696.23. Others were Amenfiman Health Insurance Scheme, GH¢11,022.44; Desicon Engineering Company Limited, GH¢7,223.25; B.B Motors and Enterprise Limited, GH¢ 13,896.46; Golden Star (Prestea), GH¢5,817.06; Western Hardwood Limited, GH¢33,047.79; Beach FM, GH¢28,872.15 and Yes FM, GH¢13,353.01. Mr. Asamoah pointed out that submitted contribution reports were found to be inconsistent with the law, hence their inability to make the required payments. “This challenge is as a result of employers’ continuous replacement of their SSNIT trained schedule officers with those who are not familiar with our system,” he noted. He stressed that bench warrants had been issued against 14 other defaulting institutions who failed to appear before the various courts. The 14 employers included Perseverance International School, GH¢1,369.42; Victory Preparatory School, GH¢1,450.60; Ghana Oxford Preparatory School, GH¢1,303.84; Deo Art Gallery, GH¢ 1,147.95; Disney International School, GH¢586.70; Wakson Cleaning Services, GH¢6,593.53 and Standard Financial Services, GH¢1,250.40. Beach FM, GH¢ 28,872.15; Nazareth Preparatory/Junior High School, GH¢ 42,485.55; Western Hardwood Limited, GH¢33,047.79; Josewith Company Limited, Dud Cheque; Best FM, GH¢3,560.51; Bretuo Mba Enterprise Limited, GH¢1,997.03 and Entsil & Sons Limited, GH¢1,074.97. On his part, the Takoradi Area SSNIT Prosecutor, John Oduro-Tanoh, indicated that his outfit’s doors were opened to employers who wanted to negotiate on their declared arrears for monthly installment payments. He advised employers to attach the same level of importance to social security contributions just like Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and VAT payments. “Plans are advanced to prosecute some employers at the District Court at Asankragwa to handle companies in and around Asankragwa, Enchi, Dadieso, Samreboi and Wassa Akropong,” he added.