Minority MP Breaks Silence On SSNIT Scandal, Wants Culprits Dealt With

After coming under intense pressure, particularly on social media, to state its position on SSNIT’s $72 million faulty software deal, at least one member of the Minority has commented on the matter.

The opposition lawmaker has called for a swift probe into the issue to uncover all the people behind the controversial contract.

Minority member on Parliament’s Legal and Constitutional Committee, Rockson Dafiamekpor said he wants the law to deal with anyone who played a role in the deal.

He told Evans Mensah on Joy FM’s Top Story that he supports any effort to unravel circumstances leading to the awarding of the contract.

Some Ghanaians have criticised the Minority over its reticence on the $72 million deal at SSNIT that has been roundly condemned.

The original contract sum was $34 million and entailed the procurement of IT infrastructure that will automate processes at the Trust. The contract was signed in 2012.

It was also to provide superior services to SSNIT customers, reduce member enrolment cycle through forms, provide effective reporting solution, achieve real-time processing of contribution reports, and reduce benefit processing time.

But after four years, SSNIT has paid an estimated $72 million for the project, twice the initial price.

Many anti-graft agencies, civil society organisations and some political parties condemned the deal with the exception of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC).

The NDC MPs have gained a reputation for wading into issues bordering on corruption and which are dominating public discussions.

Critics said the opposition lawmakers were silent on the SSNIT deal because the contract was signed when the NDC was in power.

But Mr Dafiamekpor said the Minority is against the extravagant nature of the deal.

He also described as unfortunate the failure of SSNIT management to heed legal opinion proffered by the Trust's Senior Corporate Law Officer, Jaezi Orleans-Lindsay, on the deal.

In a memo intercepted by Joy News, Mr Lindsay had counselled SSNIT against backdating a component of the contract, warning any such decision would incur a cost of over $2 million.
However, that advice fell on deaf ears.

The NDC MP said it was wrong for SSNIT's management to ignore the opinion of the lawyer after it had requested for it.

"It will do all of us a lot of good if [former SSNIT's Director General] Mr Ernest Thompson can [clarify] the issue," Mr Dafiamkekpor said.