Government working to pay debt owed SSNIT —-Finance Minister

snitbod pixThe government is working to settle its indebtedness to the Social Security and National   Insurance Trust (SSNIT), the Minister of Finance, Ken Ofori Atta has said.

Government owes SSNIT about GHc600 million as the result of its inability to pay SSNIT bonds and workers’ contributions.

Mr Ofori-Atta who disclosed this during the inauguration of the new SSNIT Board in Accra said his outfit would meet with the management and board to restructure the debt.

The eleven-member board chaired by former Minister of Defence, Dr Kwame Addo-Kufuor, has  Abena Osei-Asare,  Deputy Minister of Finance, Mr Alex Frimpong, Daniel Acheampong, Joshua Ansah and Prince William Ankrah,  as members.

The other members are Dr John Ofori Tenkrang, the Director-General of SSNIT, Mahamadu Assibi Azonko, David Ofori Acheampong, Benjamin Odotei Asumang, Beautrice Zakpaa Vib-Sanziri.

Mr Ofori-Atta entreated the new board to work in the interest of contributors, and represent the collective interest of employers, employees and the state.

He also advised the new members to work assiduously to address the challenges facing the Trust, saying that was critical to build confidence in the scheme and improve on its liquidity.

He said while enrollment to the scheme was dwindling, benefit payment to contributors of the scheme was increasing.

Currently, there were 1.3 million members enrolled on the scheme with 170,000 pensioners on the scheme.

Mr Ofori-Atta said contributions to the scheme last year amounted to  GHȻ1.86 billion, which was twelve per cent less than what was raised in 2015, adding that benefits payment stood at GHȻ1.75 billion, which was 16 percent.increase over the previous year’s payments.

Dr Addo-Kufuor said SSNIT, the largest non-bank financial institution, if managed well could be a formidable organisation to resuscitate the national economy and create jobs.

He said the new board was determined to direct to SSNIT along a path that would increase the prosperity of contributors.

By Kingsley Asare

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