The Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT) court presided over by Ms Afia Owusuaa Appiah has ordered the Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA) to pay GH¢1,289,990.83 to SSNIT by December 17, 2022 or face punitive measures.
The money represented 30 per cent of a total debt of GH¢4,299,969.42 the AMA owed in workers’ SSNIT contributions since September 2021.
The court further directed the AMA to within a month resolve any payment differences it had with SSNIT concerning the settling of the total debt.
The AMA was charged with failure to pay SSNIT contributions and the failure to pay penalty on SSNIT contributions and it pleaded guilty with explanation to both charges.
The Director of Finance, Francis Anaba, who was included in the suit and the Deputy Director of Administration, Desmond Tutu Arhin, who represented the AMA were both granted a self-recognizance bail after the court entered a plea of guilty on their behalf.
When the case was called on Saturday, Mr Anaba explained that the debt was incurred between 2017- 2019, when the assembly consisted of 13 sub-metros, which were now three as 10 had become autonomous metros.
He said attempts to get the 10 assemblies to pay their debts had failed, adding that a plea was sent to the Ministry of Finance requesting for a bail-out, but they were yet to receive a response.
Deputy Director of Administration, Tutu Arhin, added that they proposed a payment plan spread over an eight-year period but it was rejected by SSNIT.
The facts presented by SSNIT prosecutor, Nana Ama France Manu-Amoah, were that an inspection conducted on AMA’s books as of September 2021, revealed that it had failed to pay the SSNIT contributions for their employees to the tune of GH¢1,738,157.72 and a penalty fee of GH¢2,661,811.70 for reneging on the payments.
Ms Manu-Amoah said a demand letter was served on them informing them of their obligation to settle their arrears but they failed to comply.
She added that their total debt stood at GH¢4,299,969.42 as an amount of GH¢100,000 was paid on November 8, 2022 reducing the initial debt of GH¢4,399,969.42.
The court fixed the next hearing for December 17, 2022.
BY NANA BENTSI ODURO